SEZ Summit sponsorship boost | Loop PNG
Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru described this Summit as one of the most important policy summits of Papua New Guinea since Independence.
“This will refocus our efforts including SEZs so this will drive our economy into the future. We have learnt from the Philippines, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. All these Asia tiger economies grew from agrarian economies to manufacturing and have transformed to value added industries and most of these changes were because of strategically using the SEZ concept. Malaysia for instance has five investment corridors. These corridors have attracted investments worth US$188 billion. The Philippines now have 420 SEZs and over the last two decades they have created 1.7 million jobs, attracted over 4 trillion Pesos investments, and US$965 billion exports. The main vehicle these countries have used is SEZs. This is what we want to do right across Papua New Guinea in locations where it is feasible to attract investors to come in and invest in projects across all sectors, mainly in fisheries, tourism, energy, forestry, and in large-scale agriculture projects,” said Minister Maru.
“We must grow our internal revenue to reduce our loans, fund our development needs, and improve our foreign currency rationing by replacing imports, for example, growing our own rice to replace K900 million rice imports every year. We cannot as a country keep doing business the same way. No sensible and responsible Government will keep doing its work following the same strategies and expect a different outcome. It is not the mining or the petroleum sector that will change the course of this country. It will be the SEZs because it has worked for other countries, especially the Asia tiger countries where SEZs have created millions of jobs. One mining and petroleum project can only create a thousand jobs. We don’t need a thousand jobs, we need thousands and millions of jobs right now in our country, so SEZ is the future. Despite sceptics we are passionate and very focus.”
The first sponsors announced their sponsorship yesterday evening. This included the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) presenting K500, 000 (platinum sponsor), and the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) presenting K100, 000 each (gold sponsors). Other sponsors are expected to come on board as well.
Minister Maru thanked the sponsors and said the Summit will cost about K1. 5 million so the Ministry and the Department will need the support of the sponsors.
“Those who become sponsors to this Summit will be our partners in this journey; they will be a part and parcel of what we are doing in this transformational project (SEZs) that will change the course of this country,” said Minister Maru.
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