The National, Monday 20th May 2013
PAPUA New Guinea will host a trade fair in Honiara in two months’ time to look for business opportunities in the Solomon Islands.
Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said in Port Moresby last Friday that plans are underway for the fair to be held in July.
He says that through the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) or free trade block opportunities, PNG can strengthen its dominance in the Solomon Islands market.
Maru said: “It is important for us to go and reaffirm our position in the Solomon Islands, look for opportunities and grow our market there.
“Solomon Islands is now a major aid recipient of our country.”
PNG made products dominate 75% of the Solomon Islands market.
“While preparations are in the initial stages, an advance party to Solomon Islands would be sent to sort out logistic requirements.
“PNG educational institutions, local companies, state enterprises and potential exporters and investors from PNG wanting to export or invest in the Solomon Islands are encouraged to join the trade fair delegation,” Maru said.
Alongside the trade fair, Maru also plans to hold bilateral talks with Solomon Islands counterpart and the foreign affairs minister.
The Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) is working alongside the manufacturers’ council and the private sector in organising the event.
Meanwhile, Maru left last weekend for Fiji to attend the MSG trade minister’s meeting in Nadi.
“The main agenda will include giving MSG countries PNG’s position on the current pacer plus negotiations and trade issues that have already emerged following the new free trade arrangements between all MSG countries,” Maru said.