Richard Maru

No customary land to be bought: Maru

That is the guarantee from Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister, Richard Maru.

Maru is the local Member for Yangoru-Saussia Electorate, the location of the SEZ Project in East Sepik Province.

He said the project will start at Kanuki, which is a State land.

“Government is not interested in buying your land; we want to empower you to engage in business opportunities,” Maru said.

He appealed to his people not to believe rumours on social media that the government will take all their land.  

Department controls Sepik Economy Zone funds

That is the clarification from Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru.

The SEZ project is located in Minister Maru’s Yangoru-Saussia District in East Sepik.   

“Finance has all the records, they decide and sign all the cheques, so all the cheques that go out, Finance gives the authorisation, (and) are the ones doing the acquittals,” Maru responded to a question from Loop PNG.

“It’s not that the funds are in an account that we control, the funds are in a trust account that the Finance (Department) controls.”

Rice importers ‘inflating their prices’

“We have more than reasonable grounds to suspect that widespread transfer pricing by rice importers are inflating the price of rice to our consumers, depriving the State of revenues by keeping revenues off-shore and are draining our Forex (Foreign Reserve),” Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, said. 

“The Department studied the quoted global prices of rice compared to the rice being imported into PNG and discovered irreconcilable discrepancies.

Maru hopes SME Bill will be ready for House

Maru said both legislations are awaiting National Executive Council approval which he says he has spoken to Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, about to make it an agenda.

The Minister responded to Mendi MP, Dei Kewanu, who enquired on the status of the legislations.

“I’m happy to inform this Parliament that both legislations are now awaiting NEC approval.

Maru confirms uplift of ban on PNG products

Maru said today in Parliament that he received a letter from Fiji’s Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya this morning.

“I can confirm now, this morning I received an official letter from the Minister of Trade for Fiji dated 23rd of March, confirming Fiji has now lifted the ban on imports of ox and palm, rice, and biscuits. Its been a long battle and I’m thankful that the Fiji government has come good and I also on behalf of our own country and government thank the Fiji government for finally doing the right thing.

Fiji still to respond to ban of PNG products

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru confirmed a letter had already been written to the Fiji Government three weeks ago about the delay in the decision after a fact finding trip to Port Moresby and Lae by a Fiji delegate.

Minister Maru said his department is following protocol to get a response. 

 “We are not happy with the delay and have summoned the Fiji High Commissioner in Fiji to chase it up with them.”

Govt to draw down new loan for PMIZ construction

Minister for Trade, Commerce and industry Richard Maru confirmed that building of infrastructures to house 10 tuna processing plants to process tuna caught in PNG waters had been delayed because the timeframe for the drawdown of the loans secured in 2011 lapsed.

“Loan had expired and also the cost had increased because of the delay, officials have been working with Exim Bank to provide us with a new loan to draw down and commence the construction.

Maru not happy with number of people working in NZ, Australia

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru said the current number of Papua New Guineans going for New Zealand for fruit picking, work, and study is less than smaller Pacific Island member states.

He raised this with his New Zealand counterpart at a Bilateral Trade Meeting at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru last month.  

“Yes, I told them that Papua New Guinea is dissatisfied with number of Papua New Guineans working and schooling in New Zealand, and also in Australia in that matter,” Maru said.  

Talks on visa on arrival for Papua New Guineans travelling to New Zealand

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru revealed this in a media conference in Port Moresby.

He said visa on arrival for tourists and business visas for Papua New Guineans and New Zealanders were discussed with New Zealand Trade Minister in a Bilateral Trade Meeting at the side of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru.

Minister Maru also said a PNG Trade Investment Road show and educational tour will be organised early next year for PNG businesses and government departments to learn from their counterparts.

Russia Government invited to Papua New Guinea

“Russia is an excited new opportunity for Papua New Guinea, it’s a country we have not been doing business with, and we are excited to engage with Russia,” Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru said.

He revealed the offer had already been put on table to his Russian counterpart during a Bilateral Trade Meeting at the side of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru.

Maru said a Russian trade delegation will be in the country at the end of February 2017, and steps have already been taken to make it happen.