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The Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru departed for New Zealand yesterday to hold high-level bilateral trade talks.

During his three-day visit to New Zealand, Minister Maru will have meetings with the New Zealand Minister for Agriculture, Hunting and Fishing, Forestry, and Trade, Hon. Todd McClay, the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Financial Markets Authority, PNG-New Zealand Business Council, and also meet with other potential New Zealand investors.

“We want to learn from the experience of New Zealand’s capital market industry and seek New Zealand Government’s support to transform the Securities Commission of PNG and the capital market industry of PNG.

Apart from the capital market industry, will visit New Zealand’s chicken industry and invite the New Zealand investors in this industry to come and invest in PNG because we still continue to import an estimate of over K100 million worth of chicken annually  especially from New Zealand and this results in loss of jobs and revenue for our MSMEs, SMEs, and our industry. We want to stop that.

We also do not want to be exposed to the risk of imported chicken diseases like the Avian Influenza and others. We want to produce enough day-old chicks to supply the entire need of our nation, our farmers, and our industry so we are able to produce enough chicken locally to meet the growing demand for chicken. We also want to meet and invite some potential New Zealand investors to invest in our Special Economic Zones,” said Minister Maru.

Minister Maru added: “New Zealand is a world leader in Agriculture Technology (Agri-tech) and it is an important partner country that maintains strong economic growth, strength in trade exports and a close viable market which is of strategic importance to PNG. We can learn a lot from New Zealand to unleash the potential of our agriculture sector and New Zealand can help up with more scholarships to train more agriculture scientists in all aspects of agriculture including biosecurity which New Zealand is renowned for globally.”

It is expected , the visit will pave the way for Agriculture Minister, Hon. John Boito to visit New Zealand to sign an MOU with New Zealand on agriculture cooperation.

“This MOU will be an important framework that PNG can utilize to secure New Zealand’s support for the development of agriculture and livestock industries in PNG,” said Minister Maru.

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