Downstream Processing Plans for Tuna

by PNG Business News - July 18, 2022

Photo credit: Fabien Forget, ISSF

Papua New Guinea has told the United States – the biggest importer of fresh Pacific tuna – that it wants to get away from the export of raw tuna and now move into downstream processing.

Prime Minister James Marape said he made this known to US vice -president Kamala Harris at the 51st Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) summit in Fiji, which was held from July 11-15 to discuss wide-ranging issues covering regional stability, development and climate change.

In line with the PIF communiqué points 50, 51 and 52 calling for PIF members to increase economic returns from fisheries, Marape highlighted the need to optimise the value of fisheries by working with the PIF family of nations, where the Pacific Ocean produced over 60 per cent of the world’s yellow fin tuna.

“At the PIF, US vice-president Kamala Harris addressed the forum, I respectfully told her and the world that PNG and Pacific will no longer be exporting raw marine catches only; we want to move into downstream processing of all our catches and resources in our (respective) countries,” he said.

No more raw resource export in primary stage but processed finish products.”

Marape added that PNG would all operators in its resource sector to change their licenses to not just harvest and exporting raw product but to make the finished product for export as well.

“Any new investors wanting to come in to work in all our resource sectors, including fisheries, must include downstream processing and manufacturing in your applications,” he said.

“Gone will be the days when we were just primary exporters.

“We want to add value to our economy by manufacturing our products in-country and in the Pacific and supplying our local and regional markets as well as the bigger overseas markets.”

Marape said that even if he did not return as prime minister, his fellow parliamentarians would be committed to the same cause of ensuring PNG’s fisheries resource was developed in-country. PNG must get back more from our resources.

“There are many ways to do it, one of which is to value add to our economy by shifting to downstream processing of resources,” Marape said.

“Just because past leaders were not pushing this space will not stop my generation and those coming after me to move into downstream processing of fish, timber, agriculture, mineral and petroleum products.

“If not now, then when?”

 

Article courtesy of the National



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