JDI experts wrap up visits

The world experts on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) from Japan Development Institute (JDI) together with local experts and the Ministry and Department of International Trade and Investment are now wrapping up their initial fieldwork.

This involved visiting the identified potential SEZ locations in the country to collect information to formulate the Masterplan for Papua New Guinea.

Their last two visits will be to the Port Moresby Industrial Zone and the Western Province next week.

Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru said that after all fieldwork are completed, the JDI team and the local experts will work together to provide three key deliverables.

“The SEZ Act of 2019 was done without the policy and a strategy so they will complete a new policy framework, new strategy to develop SEZs, and propose a completely revised legislation that will regulate the setting up and operating of SEZs in Papua New Guinea.

“They will also do a report on how to build the capacity of the SEZ Authority and help us with the selection of the best candidate for the position of the CEO of SEZ Authority who must be a world class expert on the management of SEZ Authority,” said Minister Maru.

Mr Maru was impressed with the work to date.

“I am looking forward to the presentation of the new policy framework, the SEZ development strategy and the revised SEZ legislation which will be delivered during the SEZ Summit that will be hosted in Port Moresby on April 24-25 this year.

“Following feedback from the global experts and stakeholders from throughout the country who will attend the Summit, these three documents will be finalized and submitted to the Government in May for consideration and approval,” said Minister Maru.

He noted that this work is the start of the transformation of the country’s economy.

“There are already a number of investors from countries as far as Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia who are expressing interest to invest in our SEZs,” he added.

“We need to ensure that we have the institutional capacity and the mechanisms in place to attract the investors to come and invest in PNG. We want to get the first investors in this year so we are working tirelessly to ensure that we can deliver on this target.”

Meantime, Maru added that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed between the Ministry and Department of International Trade and Investment and the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) for KPHL to supply cheap, reliable and clean energy solutions to the SEZs was timely.

“I want to commend the KPHL Board and management for partnering us on this journey,” said Minister Maru.

“We will also be working with the Ministry and the Department of Works and Highways in the Connect PNG Program to involve them very closely in the development of the SEZ Masterplan because we need high economic potential areas that need to be connected by road and also other enabling infrastructure for these SEZs to be realized,” added Maru.

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