Export licence only for locals: PM


LICENCES for round log exports will only be given to locals and landowner companies including provincial government business arms with the aim of migrating to downstream processing post 2025, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Marape said in Parliament that the Government’s aim to end round log exports still stood.
He said 2020 was the benchmark and that no foreign companies had been issued licences since then and that those that had been licensed had met downstream processing requirements.
“When we came in (Government) we said from 2020 onwards there would be no issuance of licences to new companies for round log exports,” Marape said.
“The only exception (for producing round logs for export) will be local companies, national companies, landowner companies and provincial government businesses. That’s the policy aim of my government led by the Pangu Pati government, we believe in this.”
Marape said 2020 was the starting point for the stop in issuance of logging licences to foreign companies.
“Any logging companies who apply to do logging as of 2020 will have to satisfy the requirement to do downstream processing in country.
“We only allow for landowners, local companies and provincial government companies to get licences to cut logs to sell as they all migrate to a post 2025 were we want all logging in our country to be in a downstream processing mode.
“That is our national government policy. The reality maybe far from what we want to do for our country but we will take stock of where we are,” he said.
Marape said a report on how the permits had been issued would be tabled before the 2022 national general election.
The report will also include how many permits were given to foreign companies with the focus on downstream processing and how many local companies had round log export permits with a view of migrating towards downstream processing in 2025.
The Prime Minister said the report will be tabled in April.