Minister Pleased with the Design Work for the Wewak and Vanimo International Wharves

By: PNG Business News July 17, 2023

Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru says he is pleased that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already started on the design work of the Wewak and Vanimo international wharves which will be completed by January 2024 according to the ADB Country Manager, Mr. David Hill.

“These wharves must be given absolute priority because they are specifically meant to enable us to trade with Indonesia in a very serious way as we step up trade and investment relationship with Indonesia and the rest of Asia,” said Minister Maru.

“The Vanimo Free Trade Zone and the Sepik Plains Special Economic Zone will also be given priority in order to make sure Papua New Guinea produces many tradeable goods to trade with Indonesia including palm oil, cocoa, fish, cattle, rice, and other products for export,” added Minister Maru.

On top of the design work of the wharves, Minister Maru said he was also happy with the Korean Exim Bank who in his last meeting with them in Korea have indicated their interest to fund the Wewak and Vanimo international wharves under a loan to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government.

“The Korean Exim Bank is very pleased that the PNG Government has previously paid off the loan that they got for the Wewak Stormwater Project. PNG has a very good record with the Korean Exim Bank. With the partnership with the ADB doing the design work and the Exim Bank agreeing to fund, we could have a very good outcome with the combined efforts of both banks working to assist us with the two key wharves,” said Minister Maru.

Minister Maru said the other issue that the Government needed to be mindful of was the cost of wharf fees and handling at the Wewak and Vanimo wharves.

“The cost of wharf fees and the handling cost need to be comparable to international cost. There is already a growing complains from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the private sector over the high cost of wharf fees and handling cost in both Lae and in Port Moresby wharves. I have told them to put their concerns to me in writing with all the relevant facts so our Government can deal with their complains,” said Minister Maru.

Minister Maru also thanked the Secretary for the Department of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Roy Mumu for his leadership in the development of these two wharves.

“I want to ask the Department of Transport and Infrastructure to work very closely with ADB and the PNG Ports who currently operate the local wharves at Wewak and Vanimo and knows the current volumes of cargo handled by both wharves. They will assist guide the ADB design team on designing a ‘fit for purpose’ wharves rather than over design which could be very costly especially when we are going to borrow money to construct these very critical wharves,” said Minister Maru.

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