After 39 years of Independence, PNG continues to import many goods that can be easily produced locally, says Minister for Trade Commerce and Industry Richard Maru.
Maru said these include beef where the country imports 50 percent of the annual requirements, dairy, milk and many dairy products, rice, fruits and vegetables and much more.
“PNG must find new trading partners who will assist us by entering into major joint venture companies to produce food products that we can produce locally.
“This is the Asian century and we must take advantage of the rise of many Asian based companies who should be encouraged to invest in PNG, especially in investments that will result in PNG being able to replace imports like rice,beef, sheep, vegetable, fruits and furniture etc”, he said.
Maru said PNG had an urgent need to negotiate and enter into new trade and investment agreements with Indonesia, Philippines, China and Malaysia.
“Apart from the Asian Region, we need to deepen our trade and investment relationship with the European Union who under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement give us special duty free market access to our fisheries and oil palm.
“PNG has greatly benefited from such a generous terms of trade agreement,” Maru said.
PORT MORESBY, 2 JUNE 2014 (LOOP PNG)