The history of PNGCCI started in the 1920’s the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry was the first in Papua New Guinea to get together to set up a chamber of commerce. WWII intervened and the POMCCI was not recommenced until 1960’s. In 1958, the Lae business got together and established a local chamber of commerce followed by business communities in other parts of PNG who charted their own chambers of commerce all around the country.
Following PNG’s Independence, the need for a national body to represent all chamber’s was recognized. A national CCI would be able to provide a stronger united voice for the private sector, and by providing a single point of contact for the National Government, dialogue and cooperation between the private sector at the national level would be much easier.
In addition, most chambers deal with similar issues and are faced with the same problems in their local areas, and a national body would help to maintain contact between them and enable the exchange of information and ideas. With these objectives in mind, efforts were combined to set up a national Chamber of Commerce.
The driving force behind it was John Cruickshank who was formerly the manager of Talair Lae Office. He became the permanent executive officer of the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and first president of PNGCCI.
The PNGCCI shared an office with the LCCI until after the Annual General Meeting in 1985, when it was decided to move it in Port Moresby. It made sense for the chamber to be based in the nation’s capital where all the key policies are made and where all the government departments are located.
Bringing together organizations from all around the country was no easy task, and there were ongoing discussions between the various chambers debating the practicalities of funding and organizing a separate body.
As all the details were slowly ironed out and consensus was finally achieved on such issues as where the office would be located. By 1983, a constitution was drawn up and application was made to the Companies Office to incorporate PNGCCI under the Companies Act.
The PNGCCI is funded by all the regional chambers on a formula basis, which means that the smaller chambers do not wear much of the funding burden. Individual sponsorships from supporting companies are also most welcome, so as to strengthen the National Chambers and take the burden from the smaller Chambers.
In 2013, the Chambers unanimously resolved to apply for the national association to be Incorporated under the Association Incorporation Act.