The Minister Health & HIV and Member for Gazelle, Hon. Jelta Wong released a statement on the occasion of the NEC Approval of the Rabaul tuna Export processing zone and the Gazelle Agro-Special Economic Zone.
Minister Wong stated that the Marape Government is looking at how best to add value to our natural resources to drive our economy forward. We must seriously choose strategies that are relevant to boosting growth of our economy.
We must choose between Industrial Park, Special Economic Zones, Export Processing Zones or Free Trade Zones which have proven to work for other nations throughout the world.
PNG has established Industrial Centers in urban settings which provide a starting point in developing business hubs. The roll out of economic Zones in various provinces has a lot of potential, however they are at various stages of development hence the need for better coordination and adapting the right policies that are fit for purpose.
In East New Britain, we now have two(2) economic Zones recently endorsed and approved by the NEC. These projects are the Gazelle Agro- Special Economic Zone(SEZ) and the Rabaul Tuna & Coastal Fisheries Export Processing Zone(RTEPZ).
I congratulate the Hon. Prime Minister, James Marape for his full support to both projects that will benefit East New Britain and the New Guinea Islands.
The Gazelle – Agro Special Economic Zone and Rabaul-Tuna Export Processing Zone have been approved by the National Executive Council last week and I’m proud to announce these two impact project for the people of East New Britain Province and the New Guinea Islands.
These projects will:
• grow the economy of East New Britain Province and PNG,
• apply tax free imports and exports
• increase production onshore
• maximize returns for ENBP and PNG
• increase foreign exchange for PNG
• increase employment and
• increase SME and spin off business opportunities for landowners
They are pilot projects and East New Britain Province is fortunate to trial Agro-Special Economic Zone in the Gazelle District and the Rabaul Tuna and Coastal Fisheries Export Processing Zone in Rabaul District.
These projects will only succeed through strong leadership, maximum cooperation between districts and wards, maximum local participation, qualitative transparency, accountability, honesty and integrity and zero tolerance of corruption, mismanagement and nepotism.
These projects will resurrect our weak copra and cocoa industry, lost to cocoa pod borer and negligence of coconut rehabilitation.
It will catapult balsa to new heights, realign coffee through the existence of a coffee factory in the province and resurrect vanilla and other species and boost the local economy.
This FTZ will convert local nuts like galip into an industry and who knows, the same can be done for the giant okari nuts. Inland fisheries may not be impossible for farmers. Livestock will be boosted for local consumption and export.
Tourism will increase beyond today. Infrastructure development will include roads, bridges, wharfs, airports and many more.
The education will improve through better education infrastructure, material supply and teacher training. International developers will partner with clans to develop their land. Rabaul and Kerevat Town will receive much needed development.
By piloting Gazelle -Agro Special Economic Zone and Rabaul – Tuna Export Processing Zone PNG will set foundation and adoption of a PNG Free Trade Zone Development Policy and Strategic Plan using local expertise whose broad experience will be combined to develop them.
These projects would not have eventuated without the commitment of:
1. Honorable Member for Rabaul, Dr. Allan Marat
2. Gazelle District Development Authority
3. Rabaul District Development Authority
4. Mr. Sam Manikot for his perseverance and dedication to Rabaul Tuna Processing Zone since 2018
5. United Church Regional Office and our Private Investors
6. The Group CEO of ENBDC and Executive Chairman for their advice and direction in realigning the two impact project for the province.
As Minister for Gazelle Open, I thanks the Team that has enable these project to come this far. This is the beginning of a new direction for East New Britain Province and the New Guinea Islands Region.
I thank God for His inspiration and Direction enabling us to realize this project.
May God bless East New Britain and our Nation of Papua New Guinea.