China, PNG ‘fast-tracking’ deal


THE Chinese ambassador to PNG Fanhua Zeng says the process is underway to fast-track a free trade agreement between PNG and China.
Fanhua told The National that this would ensure that after the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the two countries would have a better trade relations. China imports around 300 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from PNG annually, plus other products such as timber.
“It is important that even in this time we give some impetus to our trade relations,” Fanhua said.
“For example, we want to have this free trade agreement with PNG. It’s a process we have to negotiate but we want to accelerate it (so that) when the pandemic is over, we can have (better) trade relations.
“PNG is rich in resources like gas, oil, timber and fisheries and China has a big market.
“So we can cooperate very closely and both countries can benefit from it.”
On timber, he said because of climate change, “we have to do something in the area of forestation”.
“We know that PNG wants to do something in that area so we can cooperate not in direct import and exports of timbers but we can cooperate in the production (of timber) we can export to China.
“There is a big market in China and the products of PNG are very important and very good.
“I see great potentials in trade and economic relations between our two countries.”