Improved trade relations with Japan to boost local business
Trade Relations between Japan and Papua New Guinea need to be enhanced for both nations to realise the many opportunities that lie in a deeper relationship.
And this must be based on ethos of mutual understanding and cooperation between all stakeholders.
These remarks were made by Nobuchika Ihara, Honorary Consulate of PNG based in Toride City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Mr Ihara was in PNG attending the PNG Investment Week and on his way back to Japan earlier this year to do what he does best, promote PNG businesses and their products to the Japanese market and create business and networking links. He had purchased some PNG coffee beans from his own pocket and was bringing the samples back to promote at a business expo where a Japanese company was looking for high quality coffee that comes with consistency in its supply.
“We need a more enhanced relationship. I work with people to build these links that can build PNG and make it more independent,” he said.
“Partnerships must be based on mutual understanding and mutual objectives...they must find the balance of the responsibilities,” Nobuchika said.
So what is mutual goal? he posed before saying: “Vital link in a mutual goal is to agree and confirm, this is very important. We must build trust and deeper the trust, we can do anything.”
According to Nobuchika the three rules of taking responsibility are to firstly show respect, show appreciation and to take responsibility.
Saying the SME sector in PNG had a long way to go he added that: ‘I believe the Prime Minister is more SME focused and his support, I believe, will expedite to get bigger’.
He revealed that discussions had with the Agriculture ministry and Coffee Industry Corporation to introduce and promote PNG coffee in Japan at a Speciality Coffee Exhibition in Tokyo in September 2019.
The event is the World Speciality Coffee Conference and Exhibition, held September 11-13.
The prestigious event last year attracted 34,000 visitors from 43 countries worldwide.
Nobuchika has been introducing and promoting PNG businesses in Japay since 2009.
Other areas of keen interest and big potential in the Japanese market are fisheries and ginger that is durable for transport like pumpkins which Japan imports from New Zealand and Mexico.
For fisheries he said Japan had technology that could be utilised in PNG where there is a big need for more ports and freezers to keep the catch fresh.
On fisheries, he said there was high demand in the Japanese market for ‘Dried Bonito’ (skip Jack).
For ginger he said a Japanese Ginger processing company was interested in PNG ginger and will provide training, free seeds and quality to meet requirements to proceed.
Mr Ikasa is supported by his very capable local assistant Mona Sop-Lepen in Port Moresby.