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The PNG Forest Industries Association is urging the Government to consider the potential economic benefits to PNG from a quick return to pre-crisis levels of operation in the industry.
Executive officer Bob Tate said this year was a disaster for the industry.
“Starting with the reckless doubling of export taxes imposed in the 2020 Budget and followed by the restrictions imposed during the course of the state of emergency – these restrictions were imposed by the PNG Forest Authority and included an attempt to end all exporting activities and when this was overturned, an attempt to end all production including that in all processing factories in the country,” he said.
“Both of these measures were unnecessary and demonstrated the complete lack of understanding in the PNGFA of the disastrous economic outlook facing the country.
“For the four months so far this year, we have seen a fall in production of some 30 per cent compared to the same period last year and of extreme concern, over 4,000 people have lost their jobs.
“It is these job losses that have and continue to have a devastating impact in rural areas, as localised economic activities, markets and transportation in particular, have been wiped out.
“This further adds to the distress being suffered in rural communities during this crisis.”
Both the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund have cautioned the Government of the critical need to maintain and increase PNG’s export earnings and foreign investment.
The forest industry brings to PNG over K1 billion per year in foreign exchange and this comes into PNG; unlike other sectors of the economy where foreign exchange largely remains off shore.
In planning for the “post virus” recovery, Tate called on responsible Government agencies, Treasury and Finance departments and PNG Forest Authority, to immediately consider and implement actions that will restore livelihoods, employment and economic activity in rural areas.
“These actions should include the complete removal of export tax for at least the next 24 months,” he said.
“That would boost production and put back to work the industry now in idle productive capacity and labour force.
“In addition, we need to further streamline and remove unnecessary red tape that holds up export operations, this is critical if we are to re-establish our, PNG’s, presence and reputation as a reliable supplier in our overseas export markets.
“If it is the Government’s intention to move away from log exports, they should conduct this in a responsible manner and give investors ample opportunity to either move into domestic processing if it’s viable or shut their operations with ample lead time rather than simply increasing export tax.”

7 comments

  • If they pack up and go, there won’t be any employment opportunities for you all.

    Open minded taughts.

    Cheers

  • They are the one that destroy our natural environment so badly and give very little benefits to the native PNGians so let them pack up and go,prime minister this is another opportunity to take back PNG now so take care of it…

  • Grew bold and old supporting the forest rapists. The hard-line policy on forestry taken by the government wakes him from his slumber.
    Meanwhile, PNG has some of the worlds best natural forests, more than enough to build decent homes for EVERY Papua New Guinean. Yet most of our people, even in the village live in substandard traditional huts. This may partly be due to excessive logging for exports.

  • Marape/Steven government please do auditing on ALL of RH businesses in PNG. They are the biggest killers of our forests. Vision City is part of them, all timber yard outlets in Pom are them, now heard they are buying Mobil service station at five mile.

    Is this take back PNG?

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