PNG Finalising Feasibility Study
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
According to PNG Ambassador to China Don Sawong, PNG is set to finalise a feasibility study for the possibility of having a free trade agreement with China.
In an event in Shenzen, China, he said that the two countries were urged to conclude this free-trade agreement. He added that a few memoranda of understandings (MoU) were already carried out between the two countries, significant in facilitating investment and trade, the feasibility study for the free-trade agreement, putting up a Bank of China representative office in PNG, and the protocol of fisheries agreement.
“These specific agreements and MoUs reflect the changing dynamics of our relations with China, and I intend to ensure that these commitments are fully implemented,” he said. “Our airline, Air Niugini is committed to commencing direct service flights to Shanghai as soon as final details are agreed upon by both authorising agencies. The implementation of this service will assist and promote the development of tourism in PNG which will also complement the MoU on immigration and visa arrangements entered between the two countries during President Xi’s state visit in November 2018.”
He added that the Bank of China office in Port Moresby was a positive improvement.
“This office is essential when dealing with financial services, involving Chinese investors to PNG and the Pacific region as a whole,” he said, “In all, about 77 PNG exporters have been identified and registered with the Chinese authorities under the fisheries protocol and our exporters will export fisheries and marine products directly to the Chinese market soon.”
Sawong said that the estimated value of exports in PNG rose from US$34.566 billion (K118.87bil) in 2018 to US$38.53 billion (K132.5bil) in 2019. Meanwhile, its trading relations with China was at US$2.3 billion (K8bil).