O’Neill for trade zone with N Aust

Business, Normal

The National, Friday November 1st, 2013

 PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill (pictured) is proposing a bilateral special economic zone with northern Australia.

O’Neill has been trying hard to attract more foreign investors in recent months and said if the federal government decided to develop Australia’s north, he wanted PNG to be part of it.

“It’s important that we should consider possibly establishing a Northern Australia-Papua New Guinea economic zone,” he told a business luncheon in Brisbane yesterday.

“An economic zone should not be treated as a threat to either country; in fact (it) should be treated as an opportunity and a logical approach to strengthening our relationship.”

O’Neill said the economic development of Northern Australia would require a lot of resources such as electricity and water and that PNG could provide them.

O’Neill says he has already flagged his idea with Queensland’s government and planned to hold talks about it with both the federal and Northern Territory governments.