by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, said any legislation that comes on the floor of parliament to ban the export of raw tuna will be supported.
“The National Government mustn’t make grant announcements and not make it happen, we will support any move on the floor (parliament) to ban the export of tuna.”
“The move will add value to our economy,” said Basil.
Two days ago at the launching of Madang’s Pacific Marine Industrial Zone Fisheries Minister, Mao Zemming, announced polices that will ensure downstream processing of tuna in the country.
“Starting next year this government will introduce a policy that fishing companies that fish in our archipelago waters shall process hundred percent of their catches in PNG,” said Zemming.
Madang’s Pacific Industrial Zone once completed will have nine canneries operating at vidar.
Once the nine canaries are in operation, Papua New Guinea’s tuna export value will jump by fifty percent from K200 million kina to K400 million.
To ensure this happens, the Papua New Guinea Government has plans to pass a series of laws that will ensure that the country’s economy benefits by having fish processed at the nine canneries.
PNG’s Fisheries Minister, Moa Zemming, made the Policy announcements on Tuesday at the PMIZ launching in Madang.
This isn’t the first time a key state Minister has made an announcement to ban export of raw material from PNG, an impending ban on the export of round logs from PNG still has to be made.
PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill said the government wants to create jobs for the people as the country’s economy changes.
“We want to encourage industries to get into the PMIZ area so that we can give them some concession so that they can build factories and build employment opportunities for our people.”
Only time will tell if the PNG Government will stay true to its word and pass the laws to ban tuna export on the floor of parliament and ensure that the country’s economy benefits enough to pay back the K200 million concessional loan from the Chinese Exim Bank to build the PMIZ.