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Question Marks Over PNG Tuna Park’s Chinese Constructor Papua New Guinea, December 19, 12

The giant tuna park project in Papua New Guinea is currently stalled in the courts and now there are some doubts about the Chinese constructor hired to build it because the company lacks experience.
The Chinese contractor, Shenyang International Economic and Technical Cooperation Company, is a city-level state-owned enterprise (SOE) with no established presence in PNG.
In a recent Wall St Journal story, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill – who is negotiating a soft loan with China Exim Bank worth at least USD 2.7 billion – said Chinese partners for the new loan would be Fortune 500 companies.
Graeme Smith, a postdoctoral fellow at the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney in Australia, believes Shenyang is unlikely to appear in the Fortune 500 anytime soon, given that it has less than 100 employees in China. In a recent article, he writes an inexperienced company such as Shenyang might seem an “odd” choice for a complex project, but it is in line with the practice of using concessional loans to give SOEs overseas experience.
Still, the majority of the top 20 Chinese companies in PNG label their business as “construction,” and Smith says he hopes China Exim Bank will call on companies with experience in PNG or similar countries. According to Chinese aid officials, Chinese construction companies are mostly responsible for supporting the Bank’s concessional loans since the majority of the money goes towards infrastructure development.
The Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project – worth USD 235 million – involves the construction of a free trade zone and up to ten tuna canneries in Magang.