It’s PNG first in new trade policy moves


PAPUA New Guinea will suspend trade with countries which discriminate against its trade opportunities, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel says.
During the launching of the country’s first National Trade Policy (2017-2032) in Port Moresby on Wednesday, Abel said the Government would secure market access for its products “by concluding well-researched, evidence-based, World Trade Organisation- compatible free trade agreements with other countries which support the inclusion of PNG businesses and workers, including small-to-medium enterprises”.
“We have reviewed our trade agreements through a cost-benefit analysis study and have decided which agreements are more important to us,” he said.
“And we have suspended the tariff reduction programme. Our international trade rights and obligations needs to be balanced.
“We are therefore taking tougher measures to suspend trade with countries who continue to unfairly discriminate against PNG’s trade opportunities.
“Through this process, we have also decided not to sign PACER-Plus but look at a different arrangements with Australia and New Zealand that would result in direct and indirect benefits in terms of foreign direct investments, capital inflow, increased export earnings, and more new jobs for locals.
“The success of the national trade policy will be dependent on its effective and efficient implementation.”
Abel said the policy would provide framework for ensuring that our trade affairs were managed and coordinated
“The trade policy recognises the important part that our trade facilitating agencies will play in promoting regulatory efficiency under the trade policy
“Our trade facilitating agencies will also need to modernise their operations, reduce red tape and reduce the cost of trading.
“Without the National Trade Policy, it has become clear that trade was being conducted in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner.”

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