PNG, China looking at free trade agreement, official says


CHINA and Papua New Guinea are doing a feasibility study on a possible free trade agreement, according to the Chinese Embassy.
Economic and commercial counsellor Liu Linlin said he was pleased with the 3rd China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum held in Apia, Samoa, last week.
Efforts by National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and their counterparts in China, saw the two governments formerly sign the protocol on inspection, quarantine and veterinary sanitary requirements for wild marine fishing aquatic products to be exported from PNG to China.
“The signing of this document will pave way for PNG to directly export PNG’s fish products to China,” Liu said. “We hope that the Department of Agriculture and Livestock can hasten its steps to follow suit to make PNG’s potential for exporting agriculture and animal husbandry products to China become real.”
He said during the forum, China’s vice–premier Hu Chunhua put forward the goal for trade between China and the Pacific countries that had diplomatic relationships with China.
“That is to double the bilateral trade value of 2018 in the year of 2025,” Liu said.
“In PNG’s scenario, that means our bilateral trade value will reach US$7.24 billion (K24.38 billion).
“Given the great trade and investment potential, I have confidence that we can achieve that goal.”
He said PNG is their largest trading partner in the Pacific.