Maru: PNG needs EU

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 9th, 2013

 PAPUA New Guinea has serious short comings in expertise, funding and the competence of trade function, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru says.

He said to improve this, PNG needed the European Union (EU) to develop the country’s competence in the international trade area. 

“We will also need EU’sassistance to complete our new trade policy,” Maru said.

He added that this was critical for PNG’s economic growth aspirations as the country was part of the world’s global trading system. 

Maru made this remarks before leaving for Switzerland to attend the fourth global review on aid for trade hosted by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.

While in Switzerland, Maru would be meeting with the officers from the International Trade Centre (ITC), an important Geneva-based international development organisation that supported and assisted developing countries with their integration into the global economy.

Following the global aid for trade review meeting at the WTO, Maru will travel to Brussels to hold high level trade talks with the European Union.

He is working to consolidate the current EU-PNG economic partnership under the Interim EPA. 

He is expected to begin formal discussions on expanding the economic partnership beyond fisheries, where PNG has duty free access to the EU market for our fishery products and other sectors, especially agriculture products.

Maru aims to encourage the EU member states to aggressively pursue foreign direct investments in PNG to strengthen our bilateral and multi-lateral relationships.

He will brief the EU on the transfer of the trade function to his ministry and his plan for a complete overhaul of the trade and investment functions..

It will mean a new trade and investment organisation in Papua New Guinea.

Maru will also be talking to the EU for both technical and financial assistance particularly with the setting up of a new trade and investment organisation under a new Act of Parliament.