Papua New Guinea (PNG) is ready to host its first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Summit with delegates from seven countries converge on the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby this weekend to start this important summit.
Minister for International Trade and Investment Richard Maru said that there should be about 450 delegates, both international and local, to be here in the nation’s capital for the summit.
“International speakers from six countries are arriving, the Japanese team have already arrived and the rest will be arriving on Saturday to speak as presenters during the summit,” said the minister.
The aim of the inaugural SEZ Summit is to assist PNG learn from many countries who have been very successful in developing Special Economic Zones to create thousands of employment and bringing billions in foreign currency and foreign direct investment, and build industries.
“This summit will allow us to learn from other countries, discuss our proposed policy, proposed new comprehensive legislative framework and also discuss our new ten year development plan for SEZs in Papua New Guinea.”
Maru said that PNG had its first SEZ in Lae, the Malahang Industrial Park. That was followed by Free Trade Zone for Vanimo, Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang and the Konebada Petroleum Park. However, these have not been successfully developed.
“So, one could argue that in the last 30 years, Papua New Guinea has failed to develop the Special Economic Zone sector to transform our economy, while other countries have been successful.”
Maru said SEZ is a vehicle that has worked in many countries in the world, which is why this summit is import for PNG.
Also during the summit the partners of the SEZ Authority and the ministry to develop SEZs, will be making their presentations on how they can partner and co- fund the development of the SEZ sector.
“We need cheap reliable power, we need improved law and order, we need roads, and we need telecommunications.”
Minister Maru later thanked the sponsors that made the inaugural SEZ Summit come about, which includes the Department of National Planning, Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, National Fisheries Authority, PNG Ports, MRDC, Telikom PNG and Securities Commission, and SEZ Authority and Minister of International Trade and Investment.
Mr. Maru said the sponsors raised K1.5million to host this inaugural SEZ Summit, which will start on Sunday 07th of May.
The countries confirmed to attend are China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, and Bangladesh. The International Financial Corporation (IFC) will be attending as well.