Minister Signs Document For US$300m To Boost Fisheries
Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Dr Lino Tom has signed an investment intent letter with a Chinese fisheries group that paves the way for a US$300 million (K1.03 billion) investment to develop PNG’s commercial fisheries sector, the minister’s office said in a statement yesterday.
The signing took place recently in Weihai city following a three-day visit and investor consultation meeting with China’s biggest fisheries group, the Weihai Fisheries Association, of Shandong province.
The association was represented by some of China’s biggest aquaculture, trading, marine transportation and seafood processing corporations, Dr Tom said.
He said the US$300 million private investment will be contributed by the association’s key company groups who had expressed interest in PNG’s fisheries and marine resources, where they will look to invest in commercial scale aquaculture, commercial offshore fishing, construction of fisheries quay, refrigerated processing factories and shipyard, among others.
The association will be responsible for coordinating and organising mobilisation of its member corporations’ investment into the sector, where it will also consider other related opportunities in tourism and leisure and marine high-tech parks to encourage a more diversified investment portfolio.
The association’s members would lead this investment drive, which will include Homey Group, Zinfa Group, Haihe and Shenghang Breeding Co., Ltd.
The Fisheries Ministry, through the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), will now work closely with the association to further discuss the investment projects that can be considered, as it prepares to receive the investor companies to PNG to action the letter of investment intent, Dr Tom said.
The NFA is moving ahead in implementing the fisheries MOU, the trade protocol agreement, and the program of action on economic development and cooperation signed at the 3rd China-Pacific Islands Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Apia, Samoa in October.
These all emanated from the consensus reached between leaders of the Pacific islands countries and China in Port Moresby in November 2018.
Dr Tom said China is now a leading source of outward foreign direct investment to global investment flows, and we must position ourselves to take advantage of this and of China’s positive contribution to global economic growth, and therefore must look to implement MOUs and cooperation agreements we have signed with China through its road and belt initiative.
“It is with this in mind that my ministry with support from NFA is making every effort to expedite direct export of PNG seafood products to China, along with bringing in the much-needed investment capital to stimulate growth of the industry, that has seen very little activity the last five years or so,” he said.
It is expected that following a planned visit all stakeholders, negotiations on the details of cooperation, including specific agreements on specific investment projects can be agreed to and signed for implementation.