PNG needs to ensure proper consultation is carried out with all relevant stakeholders before embarking on any trade agreements with other nations, Customs chief Gary Juffa said.
He said agreements that tend to protect interests of the developed nations must benefit all parties corncerned when these nations also promote the agreements.
“Trade agreements signed without proper consideration of the ramifications and repercussions on a developing nation’s economy, its business environment and its citizens resulted in growing poverty and financial misery for ordinary citizens.
“Thus it is not being fair to them,” he said.
Mr Juffa made these comments when congratulating the director general of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) secretariat Rima Ravusiro, when he made a courtesy call to PNG Customs Services (PNGCS) during his visit to the country.
During the stop-over Mr Juffa offered PNGCS expertise on issues relating to regional trade and security, noting that PNGCS already had its officers working in Fiji and Samoa in its effort to expand its contribution to the region.
PNGCS had offered its officers to be attached at the MSG to assist it to develop regional trade and promote security amongst Melanesian member states.
Mr Ravusiro said he was quite supportive of PNGCS efforts to have an attached officer at the secretariat in Vanuatu and would look forward to developing this possibility.
“PNGCS is developing a pool of technical experts to ensure that we provide quality advice and information in regards to issues of transnational trade and security so that our leaders and those who require such information are given the best advice before a decision is made.
“Many nations in the developing world are currently suffering as a result of poor or ill-advised decisions which at times have been forced to be made by developed nations.
“For PNG I believe that the MSG is the way to go and we should all make an effort to support this true Pacific initiative whilst carefully examining the benefits of other trade agreements that are currently being considered,” Mr Juffa said.