Trade volume at 20pc: Envoy
The volume of trade with Japan accounts for around 20 per cent of PNG’s total trade, making Japan a major trading partner after Australia, Singapore and China, says Japanese Ambassador Kuniyuki Nakahara.
Nakahara said the main imported items from Japan were vehicles and their parts.
“Last year, total import from Japan was 15.9 billion Yen (K513 million) of which vehicles and parts made up more than 74 per cent. Other main imported items are steel and cement,” Nakahara said.
“Although this is not widely acknowledged, PNG records a substantial trade surplus with Japan in recent years. Last year, export to Japan was 287.3 billion Yen (K9.3 billion).
“Roughly 50 per cent of PNG’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production is exported to Japan, and last year, LNG accounted for 76 per cent of export from PNG to Japan.”
He said Papua New Guinea was an important country in the Pacific region because Japanese fishing vessels used its waters.
“Tuna is the most popular topping for Japanese sushi, and it could be said that Japan’s traditional food culture is supported by a country located 6,000km away, which is none other than PNG,” he said.
“The PNG Government is striving to increase the production of natural resources such as LNG and when new LNG and other mineral projects are getting underway, we will see a significant rise in export to Japan.”
On imports from Japan, PNG people are most likely withholding the purchase of durable goods due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, it can be said that when Covid-19 is under control and new projects on natural resources bring further investment, the economy of PNG will recover, and the market will also regain its previous vigour.”