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New PNG & Philippines Tuna Fisheries Pact Marks Growing Relationship

The overall trade between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea has been growing significantly during the past few months. The fisheries trade is playing key roll in this growth, according top representatives for the two countries expressed on different occasions in recent days.

PNG Works Minister Gabriel Kapris, who has been visiting Philippines for the past four days indicated that  the Philippines is PNG's sixth largest trading partner with a total trade volume that went from PGK 170.2 million (USD 51 million) in 2001 to PGK 1068.2 million (USD 321 million) in 2007.

Further driving the trade relationship has been the signing of a fisheries trade pact yesterday that will allow for more exchanges and co-operation between the private sectors of the two countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) involves cooperation and mutual assistance on technology transfer between the two nations, with an emphasis on aquaculture, promotion of fishing ventures, investments, technical training, research and planning, The Visayan Daily Star reports. The two countries are among the world's top 10 in tuna producers.
Philippines Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has said that the MOU will have a “big impact” on the economy by increasing the extent of fishing grounds for the tuna industry.

In turn, Minister Kapris, in a speech delivered during his visit, partly credited increased fisheries investment from the Philippines in recent years for a noted expansion in the overall PNG economy, The Papua - New Guinea Post – Courier reports.

The fisheries sector alone is currently providing over 7,000 job opportunities and income generating opportunities, the PNG minister said.

With a view to further developing the sector, the Papua New Guinea Government is also developing the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang, which will encourage investors to invest in the country’s marine resources, including downstream processing.

Fully developed in terms of infrastructure and with authorized investor incentives such as tax holidays, the zone is expected to be the first of its kind to operate as a one-stop shop for future investors.

Since 2006, PNG's total fisheries and non-fisheries product exports to the Philippines increased by around 46 per cent while imports from the Philippines have increased by 7.4 per cent.