Strong interest shown in PNG mission

Stakeholders have shown keen interest to be a part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Papua New Guinea this year.
The Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, has confirmed interest has been shown from 32 companies to date.

This, he said, ranges across textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) sector, retail and wholesale, financial sector, security, jewellery and creative arts, construction and engineering as well as the transportation sector.

The mission will be headed by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Mr Ali said: “This will provide the added impetus and the high profile, which will no doubt contribute towards its success.”

He said with the expressions of interest now closed, the Ministry had established an organising committee to ensure the mission is well planned.
The committee will also look at strategies to effectively target the sectors of interest to Fiji.

Mr Ali said the dates will depend on the availability of  the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“The timing of the mission will also depend on the host Government, Papua New Guinea,” he said.
Opportunities in PNG
Mr Ali highlighted the mission will give businesses the opportunity to explore opportunities and growth in the expanding and lucrative Papua New Guinea market.

“The mission will raise awareness, create linkages and business relations. For those who are part of the delegation seeking to further their business ventures in the PNG market, this will be a worthwhile endeavour,” he said.

Mr Ali said the Papua New Guinea market is made up of seven million people with close ties to Fiji making it a natural business and investment partner and destination.
“We have seen major investments in the financial and tourism sector,” he said,
“With this mission, we aim to further grow the investment interest from PNG, given the incentives announced by the Prime Minister in the 2013 budget.”
Success stories in PNG
Mr Ali said a number of Fijian firms had successfully entered the Papua New Guinea market, despite tariff barriers that existed up till last year.

“In 2010, Fijian exports to PNG were around $11.7 million,” he said.

“The recent development under the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement, which has seen the removal of majority of the tariffs, is set to further increase trade between the two countries.

“The MSG Skills Movement Scheme has opened up opportunities for Fijian skilled and semi-skilled personnel to find employment.
“The agreement facilitates the temporary movement of labour amongst the MSG countries.

“An example of this, is the interest from the security sector to be part of the Fijian delegation.”