By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
SUPPORT will be given to genuine investors only in the fishing industry, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
He told the Pacific Tuna Forum in Port Moresby that some investors were in the country to conduct “cheap” business.
“We are doing a review in the next three months. We are going to review many of the ventures and agreements that we have because for far too long, we see ventures that continue to never make profits – but they never want to leave either,” he said. “Enough is enough. It’s time to stop these kind of things.
“I think it is important that benefits are shared equally and fairly so our people will benefit from the resource they truly own.
“Our government is continuing to undertake the responsibility of ensuring that we build good public infrastructure, provide more training and tax incentives that is going to continue to strengthen the industry.”
The government in the past decade had spent almost US$1 billion (K3.12 billion) to subsidise the country’s fishing industry.
“This by way of concessional fishing rights in addition to the many concessions that we have given to the fishing industry.
“We see our market share eroding. Countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea where tuna originates from.
“Countries like Germany are achieving close to 47 per cent of the market share, particularly from exports coming from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.
“This is unacceptable to countries like ours because it certainly erodes the market share for our people and our countries.”
He said it was not acceptable that PNG-flagged vessels fishing in PNG waters and enjoying the concessions were yet to lend fish to processing plants in the country.
“Our government will implement changes when we make that review over the next three months and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.
“Those who are here only for cheap fishing are welcome to leave as well.”
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU