This was revealed by National Planning and Monitoring Minister, Richard Maru, during a visit to the Province last weekend.
According to a statement, Maru led a high level delegation to N’Drahukei on the West Coast of Manus Island for a proposed fisheries industrial hub when he made the announcement.
“This means that jobs will be lost and small businesses will also make losses. Therefore, the O’Neill-Abel government is keen to ensure the people of Manus are supported through sustainable projects like a fisheries and cannery project. Your greatest asset is the sea,” Minister Maru said.
The processing centre is expected to be fully closed at the end of the month and Maru said the Province needs to generate substantial revenue. And that can be achieved through a fishing hub.
The delegation led by Maru also included European Union Ambassador, H.E. Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, National Fisheries Authority Managing Director, John Kasu, Speaker Job Pomat, Governor for Manus, Charlie Benjamin, and representatives from PNG Power, Water PNG and Telikom PNG.
They visited the proposed industrial site at N’Drahukei, which consists of 260 hectares of unused State land, to learn more about its prospects.
Maru said the EU had a combined population of 500 million which was a potential market for the fisheries industry.
“They are the richest region in the world and they provide a massive market for our fisheries products,” said Maru.
Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos said his visit was to learn as much as he could about Manus.
“I think it is necessary to bring Europe over to Papua New Guinea and I will try hard with the Minister and the Trade Minister and other ministers, governors and the private sector.
“Papua New Guinea has potential in fisheries. There is a need and there is potential to bring investors also because Europe brings standards.
“It is true that the European Union is a big market for fish and tuna in particular of Papua New Guinea. It is also true that the European Union has been a partner of Papua New Guinea for over 40 years now, which also include trade and economic cooperation,” the EU ambassador said.
They will engage an independent consultant through the NFA, Department of National Planning and Monitoring and Department of Trade, Commerce & Industry, to conduct feasibility study on the viability of the project.