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Feasibility study on trade between PNG and Australia to be carried out

The National |

Feasibility study on trade between PNG and Australia to be carried out

A FEASIBILITY study on the bilateral trade between Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia will start next month, according to International Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru.

Maru said a term of reference had been agreed to between the two countries.

The Centre for International Economics (CIE) will carry out the study next month.

“The study assesses the feasibility of a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement covering goods and services and other crosscutting issues such as investment and local content policies, competition policy, movement of people, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and technical barriers to trade,” Maru said.

Trade relations between PNG and Australia have been under the PNG-Australia Trade and Economic Relations Agreement signed in the 1970s, and recently under the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Corporation Agreement.

“Despite market access offered under these arrangements, they have not served their purpose to increase PNG’s exports,” Maru said.

“Only one commodity group seems to enjoy increased market share in Australia – gold, copper and other precious metals.

“Current statistics indicate that over 98.9 per cent of PNG’s exports to Australia comes from the mining and petroleum sectors.

“Other commodities which are very critical for economic development, poverty alleviation and improving the living standards of ordinary Papua New Guineans see a declining market share in Australia although the demand or market in Australia seems to be increasing for these products which PNG can or is able to supply.

“A similar pattern is revealed for the services sector.

“Australia continues to enjoy significant services trade surplus in the PNG market whilst PNG experiences great difficulty to supply services connected to the temporary movement of natural persons and other services skill.”

 source: The National