Special economic zone (SEZ)

SEZ Foundation Policy Consultative Workshop

The workshop brought together key agencies and stakeholders to present their cross-sectoral views and comments on the draft SEZ Foundation Policy. This Foundation Policy presents the first national policy intervention to pioneer and guide the formal institution and implementation of the SEZ Development Program in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

“The primary focus of the Foundation Policy is to define the SEZ, introduce the regulatory and governance framework, and detail the implementation framework to align the institution and implementation of the SEZ Development Program.

SEZA must remain only regulator

SEZA says these efforts are being done without compliance with the SEZA Act of 2019, and without the express authorization of the board.

In the board’s official statement, they stated, “Attempts in this regard have been through the private members bill process. This is contrary to the SEZA Act 2019, which provides for a united national process (or a single window) for creating and recognizing SEZs throughout the country.”

Signing of fisheries agreement a milestone: PM

The MOU was signed during a ceremony by RDFG, the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH), and the Ministry of International Trade and Investment (MITI).

Witnessing the signing were Prime Minister Marape, Minister for International Trade and Investment Richard Maru, State Enterprises Minister William Duma, and Fisheries Minister Jelta Wong.

Under the MOU, RDFG and the State will engage in negotiations to establish a fishing company in Madang.

Electricity a need for Ihu project

For this reason, the management of the Ihu SEZ have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) to progress feasibility studies on power generation sources.

This is a follow up from the agreement signed between the Ministry of International Trade and Investment and KPHL earlier this year.

“KPHL is happy to collaborate with the Ihu SEZ Development Company to carry out feasibility studies on possible power generation solutions for their particular area,” said KPHL managing director, Wapu Sonk.

First-ever SEZ Summit

The two-day event was announced in a press conference today by Minister for International Trade and Industry Minister, Richard Maru.

Supported by Vice Minister Kessy Sawang, they have informed the country that the SEZ summit will take place from May 8 to 9 in Port Moresby.

Minister Maru urged Papua New Guineans to apply as soon as possible because there are only 370 spaces for those intending to participate.

SEZ requires clear land title and ownership

Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) Board Chairman, Varigini Badira said core to granting an application to any developer is land security with healthy financial portfolio.

He said land must be owned and secured by the developer intending to establish a SEZ. 

“Any licensed SEZ developer are given twelve months KPIs to implement the conditions of the license and to immediately engage in job creation,” Badira said.

Work on SEZ study commence

The Japanese Development Institute and the Special Economic Zone Authority are in East New Britain today to commence the study.

Minister for Trade and Investment, Richard Maru said the study begins this month (December 2022) and will run until April 2023.

“To formulate the plan, they must travel the country to the locations that the Government has identified as potential provinces and districts.

“On the basis of the assessments, they will look at the business opportunity whether it is viable and has enabling infrastructure.

Plans for blockchain-focused economic zone gain traction

In May, US-based blockchain firm, Ledger Atlas, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Port Moresby government for the company to design the operational guidelines for PNG’s planned blockchain-focused special economic zone (SEZ).

As the country’s first SEZ of this kind, it is intended to serve as a global financial centre for blockchain activity, enabling tech solutions to be developed in an incubator-like environment. The Finschhafen district on the north-east coast of the Morobe Province has been proposed as a suitable location.