Minister Maru Discusses Broad Trade and Investment Framework with Korean Minister

By: PNG Business News June 05, 2023


Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru met with his counterpart Minister, Hon. Chan-Yang Lee the Korean Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy on the margins of the inaugural PIC-Korea Leaders’ Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea on May 30, 2023. Minister Maru was part of Prime Minister Marape’s delegation to the Inaugural Pacific Island Countries and Korea Leaders meeting held in Seoul on May 29, 2023. He was accompanied by Vice Minister for Treasury Hon. Solan Loifa.

Minister Maru expressed that PNG since establishing formal diplomatic relations with Korea never had a formal arrangement in place to facilitate trade and investment of its products, including fish, coffee, cocoa and chocolate products, timber products and LNG and many others; and to also allow for Korean investors to invest in PNG.

He stressed for Korean investors to invest in manufacturing sector where they can downstream process and value add PNG's vast natural resources in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy and opportunities in the ICT sectors. Since Korea already has markets for its products and positive reputation as a quality manufacturer and supplier of products to the world, for them to invest and produce in PNG, the overseas markets for these products are already secured.

Minister Maru informed his Korean counterpart of the Special Economic Zones he is championing and invited Korean companies to invest in these zones where Government will accord them special incentives.

Minister Lee responded positively for more Korean investors to consider investing in PNG while acknowledging PNG’s available resources unlike Korea. Minister Lee further informed that Korea now prefers Economic Cooperation Framework arrangement rather than the traditional Free Trade Agreement and so far has signed such arrangements with several countries. Such arrangements can appropriately facilitate trade and investment between trading partners, hence welcomed Minister Maru’s proposal for a broad framework arrangement to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.

Minister Lee also informed Minister Maru of the Korean Trade and Investment Authority (KOTRA), which is Korea’s national Trade and Investment promotion organisation established in 1962 whose mandate include promoting Korea’s trade and investment and encouraged PNG to also work with KOTRA to realise increased trade and investment with Korea. Minister Maru and Minister Yang Lee concluded their meeting on a high note agreeing for PNG to share its draft for the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement with Korea for their views going forward.

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