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PNG-US working on Investment and Trade Framework

PNG and the US are working on an investment and trade framework agreement to boost trading between these two countries.

According to US Ambassador to PNG Erin McKee, the aim is on bilateral trade opportunities in agriculture and other industries. She added that the trade volume between these countries should rise.

“It (trade volume) is not big enough,” Mckee said. “We have been working hard to conclude what’s called a trade and investment framework agreement. It is not a free trade agreement. It’s a foundational agreement between our two countries to start exploring specific two-way trade opportunities whether it’s in the agricultural sector, creative industry sector or other areas. We can use this as the basis to ultimately form a free trade agreement. But it is not enough and is something that I must improve while I’m here.”

In 2017, total exports of PNG to the US totalled US$113 million (K397.55mil) of which US$395,000 (1.3mil) is under generalised systems of preference (GSP), which is a US government agreement that allows market accessibility to the US on products that are non-tariff and providing duty-free access.

The US tariff schedule involved 4,084 products that include wood, water, coffee, vanilla, turmeric, coral, fresh fish, most metallic and energy ores, medicines, information technology, and medical equipment. Around 3,256 products were eligible for GSP benefits and this included value-added wood products, ginger, fresh and chilled taro, crafted goods, and jewellery.

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