O’Neill to launch first trade policy

Business

THE country’s first trade policy will be launched today by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill after three years of planning and consultation.
It will basically provide a guideline on how the country enters trade agreements, why it enters the deals, and what benefits the country can expect from them.
Caretaker Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said the PNG national trade policy (NTP) had been developed over the past three years through a wide and lengthy consultation process.
Maru said the NTP was endorsed by the national executive council in April this year.
“This is a home-grown policy formulated by a State drafting committee comprising officers from government departments and agencies supported by local and international experts,” he said.
Maru said the policy was expected to take the country’s international trade to the next level “by providing a strong, coherent, and stable trade policy leadership, direction and coordination, henceforth, guide PNG’s position in the current and future challenges facing the domestic and global trade”.
Maru earlier said the basic element of the policy was to make sure every trade agreement should capture PNG’s interest.
Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Apec and trade facilitation assistant secretary Bridgette Kamish said PNG was a member of the World Trade Organisation and a party to a number of international trade agreements.
It has various trading partners including the European Union, Melanesian Spearhead Group, Australia (through the PNG-Australia Trade and Commercial Relations Agreement) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
“There is a need for a strategic road map to guide PNG on which countries to engage with, what to engage on and how to engage with other countries, as well as to assess the value that these trade agreements will bring,” she said.

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