International Trade Minister Pushes for Increased Fish Processing in PNG

By: PNG Business News April 17, 2023

Photo Credit: USCG Press CC BY 2.0

International Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru is urging for more fish caught in Papua New Guinea's waters to be processed in the country, with a target of processing all of it. At present, only about 10 to 15 per cent of the fish caught in PNG is processed domestically, while over 80% is sent abroad for processing.

Maru voiced his concerns after the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) handed over K100,000 for the International Special Economic Zone (SEZ) summit. He stressed the importance of a domestication policy from the NFA, which he plans to present to Cabinet.

“We cannot have an SEZ without security of the catch. I am ready to back the NFA because we need jobs," Maru said. "We are going to go all the way to legislation, policy and whatever needs to be done to ensure that we unleash the fisheries industry and maximise the benefits.”

Maru believes that the Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang can create over 50,000 new jobs and is an exciting opportunity. He is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure that the fisheries industry is fully utilized to its potential.

Justin Ilakini, the Managing Director of NFA, said that they were working with the Ministry to implement the PMIZ in Madang. Ilakini stated that the NFA had been waiting for a clear policy direction, and that the SEZ was a positive concept.

"We are collaborating with the Ministry to make the PMIZ a reality, and we are excited about the SEZ concept. We are ready to move forward," Ilakini said.

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