The National – Thursday, June 30, 2011
By ANCILLA WRAKUALE
PAPUA New Guinea has secured a US$95 million loan facility to fund the design and construction of the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Vidar, Madang.
Minister for Commerce and Industry Gabriel Kapris said the funding was part of a commitment by the Chinese government during the 2006 China-Pacific economic ministerial forum in Fiji in which it will provide a K1.2 billion concessional loan to boost economic co-operation in the Pacific region.
Kapris said PMIZ would be developed at a cost of K635 million.
The loan of US$74 million would be made available by the China Export-Import Bank under the loan agreement signed last month by Kapris in Beijing.
The balance of US$21 million, from the total US$95 million would be co-funded by the PNG government under the development budget spread over the next three years.
The fund would be used to build a world class wharf, jetties, fish port, cold storage, container terminal and other support facilities.
“We are now ready to roll out the PMIZ project,” Kapris said.
He said the project would have a lot of economic benefits to PNG in terms of employment and wealth creation.
It was anticipated that PMIZ would create 40,000 jobs and other spin-off benefits for the locals.
“It would be good for PNG and other PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement) member countries,” Kapris said.
The first stage of the project would cost K95 million and would be handled by a Chinese company as the main contractor.
Kapris said he would like to see foreign investments in PNG to have maximum local participation and equity and not just mere royalty collectors.
Meanwhile, Kapris had announced the proposed development of special economic zone (SEZ) that had been developed and awaiting comments at the departmental and political levels before presenting the bill in parliament in August.
The bill aimed to have only a single entity which would be the national economic zone to regulate all SEZ in the country.