Thursday 21 September 2023
Acting Secretary of the Department of International Trade and Investment, Mrs Jacinta Warakai-Manua, addressing stakeholders at the draft SEZ Foundation policy consultative workshop at APEC Haus, Port Moresby.
Key stakeholders attended the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Foundation Policy Consultative workshop hosted at Apec Haus, Port Moresby by the Ministry and Department of International Trade and Investment and the SEZ Authority on Tuesday 19 September 2023/
Acting Secretary of the Department of International Trade and Investment, Mrs Jacinta Warakai-Manua said the primary focus of this foundation policy is to define the SEZ, introduce the regulatory and governance framework, including details to align the institution and implementation of the SEZ development program.
“The foundation policy is developed against a backdrop of the country’s lack of prior experience and expertise in developing SEZs, unsuccessful past attempts in advancing similar concepts like the free trade zone, industrial parks, and export processing zones, lack of the functional regulatory frameworks, and lack of full institutional capacity in the SEZ Authority (SEZA) and board.
“The foundation policy will become part of PNG’s greater economic reform and growth strategy to harness and transform the economic potential of the nation into appropriate economy of scale, and accordingly transform the social welfare and prosperity of the people,” Mrs Warakai-Manua said.
According to Mrs Warakai-Manua this policy presents the first ever national policy intervention to pioneer and guide the formal institution and implementation of the SEZ development program in PNG.
The workshop brought together key agencies and stakeholders to present their cross-sectoral views and comments on the draft SEZ Foundation policy.
Stakeholders who participated in the workshop included; the National Office of Trade, Department of Lands and Physical Planning, Lands Commission, Department of Information and Communications Technology, PNG Customs Services, Kumul Minerals Holdings, Internal Revenue Commission, Telikom PNG were a few of those who attended.
The stakeholders not only gave their comments and feedbacks on the draft policy but also pledged their support to the Ministry of International Trade and Investment and SEZA.
They are now committed to progressing the SEZ agenda to the next stage of witnessing a first SEZ come into operation.
“We now take all comments and views into consideration and work on finalizing the SEZ Foundation policy,” Mrs Warakai-Manua said.