Forestry earns K1.2bil per year

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The forest industry earns foreign currency from exports of products amounting to about K1.2 billion per annum.
Minister Douglas Tomuriesa revealed this in Parliament yesterday, saying the industry contributed over K5 billion per annum to PNG’s gross domestic product.
PNG earns over K1.2 billion in foreign exchange from forest products which helps to enable ordinary Papua New Guineans and businesses to purchase and consume imported good and access international services, he said.
He said over the first 10 months from January this year, a total of 2.05 million cubic metres of logs were exported from PNG for an average price of US$95.
In that period 43 companies were involved in the production of logs and 51 companies were involved in the export.
There were 62 international buyers of PNG logs though 90 per cent were exported to China.
According to the Forest Industry Association of PNG, the industry directly employs about 15,000 people and indirectly supports a further 25,000 Papua New Guineans, he said
Tomureisa said annually the industry contributed over K300 million directly to government revenue, K280 million in the form of log export tax, K29 million in log export development levy and over K40 million in payroll taxes, corporate taxes, royalty withholding taxes and GST.
Tomuriesa said he would soon be seeking approval from the National Executive Council to increase royalty payments to forest owners.
“Our forests continue to be managed on a sustainable basis and I would like to see our forest resource owners benefit more proportionally from the exploitation of their inherited wealth,” he said