Thursday 27 October 2022
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed Japanese think tank, Japan Development Institute (JDI), into Papua New Guinea to help develop a new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Master Plan for the country.
The JDI team will be working with partners like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank to build SEZs right across the country.
The visit of JDI Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Dr. Shoichi Kobayashi, follows an invitation by PM Marape at a meeting with him in Tokyo in September.
PM Marape at the Tokyo meeting was accompanied by International Trade and Investment Minister Hon. Richard Maru, East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird and Papua New Guinea Ambassador to Japan Hon. Samuel Abal.
Minister Maru and Ambassador Abal also had comprehensive discussions with Dr Kobayashi to progress the SEZ concept in PNG as a matter of urgency, starting with the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang.
Dr Kobayashi and Ambassador Abal are currently in PNG to further discussions with the Government on progressing the SEZ concept.
They met with the SEZ Authority and Minister Maru on Tuesday October 25, and later visited the Rigo Rice Project in Central.
The team travelled to Madang on Wednesday October 26, and visited the PMIZ and Middle Ramu.
They then met with Mr Marape and Treasurer Hon. Ian Ling-Stuckey in Port Moresby today, and will return to Japan tomorrow (Friday 28 October).
“I welcome JDI into PNG and thank them for responding promptly to my invitation when I was in Tokyo on September 27,” PM Marape said.
“I thank them for coming to PNG to progress the SEZ concept.
“We have moved ahead with passage of the Special Economic Zones Authority Act in 2019, so the political will is there, it’s just a matter of getting the nuts and bolts in place.”
The JDI is an independent think tank/consulting firm, specialised in international development.
It was first established in 1982 as the World Consultant Service (WCS) and later changed its name as JDI after merging with the think tank of the Institution of Engineering Consulting Firms Association, Japan (ECFA) in 1997.
With its distinguished experts from numerous disciplines and the network with its associate institutions and experts in the world, JDI provides a broad range of consulting services in the field of development, carries out practical studies, and proposes concrete projects and strategies.
Starting with industrial development in southern Thailand in 1978, JDI has dealt with 40 SEZ projects in 20 countries, to date.