By HELEN TARAWA
PNG Customs has been asked to reduce the cost of doing business by improving turnaround times.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru, speaking at a business consultative forum last week, said Customs was reformed to improve its services.
“The objective of the Government is simple. We must reduce the cost of doing business and we must improve the turnaround times,” he said.
“Within a day of their arrival, the goods should leave the port and get to the warehouses so we can start doing business.
“We’ve provided funding for new technology and I’m happy that they are meeting today to discuss the technology improvements they want to make with the private sector so we can get their input.
“We must also start to look at export taxes for companies that are using our raw materials and exporting to the world.
“Like our fish, if we don’t process it in PNG and it is processed in Thailand, we are creating jobs and adding value overseas.
“They will get our fish, process it, put it into a Thailand can and ship it to other countries as Thailand fish.
“Whatever belongs to PNG must be processed in the country as a final product before we export. Companies that come in here and get our raw materials out (of the country), under the trade policy, should be charged an export tax.”
Maru said it was the work of Customs to track those raw materials leaving the country and make sure they collected the export tax.
“We are losing out on millions of kina in export taxes because we do not have an export tax regime in this country,” he said.
By HELEN TARAWA