by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Trade ministers and their delegations attended the second Melanesian Spearhead Group Investment Seminar today.
According to Chairman of the MSG, Victor Tutugoro the convening of the seminar was to firm up the road map for negotiations for the 3rd MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA3).
The presentations were done to gauge prospects for a new investment chapter that will help facilitate trade between MSG countries.
At the 2nd Investment Seminar this morning, Secretary for Trade, John Andrias said MSG countries must seize the opportunity to promote bilateral trade arrangements. He said trade and investment relationships are important in fostering a more diversified growth in the MSG region.
“The leaders’ intention is therefore to insert an investment chapter in the MSGTA3; indeed, a reflection of the importance of promoting and facilitating investment in the MSG sub-region bloc,” Mr Andrias said.
Speaking in French, chairman of the MSG and spokesperson for New Caledonia’s Front de Liberation Nationale Kanake et Socialiste party (FLNKS), Victor Tutugoro, reaffirmed that MSG countries have many natural resources that can develop their economies but they must be protected.
His Excellency Tutugoro said there are challenges, a growing demand for national resources and pressure on customary land for economic development. The participants have been urged to reflect on the best ways to harmonise economic prosperity in safeguarding our environment.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will be officially opening the MSG Trade Fair and Investment Road Show this evening at the Murray Barracks.
Today, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru was presented a cheque of K600,000 from the National Gaming and Control Board. This is in support of the staging of this sub-regional event. Acting CEO of NGCB, Imelda Agon said they were happy to assist.
The trade fair will be open to the public starting tomorrow. Tickets will be on sale at the Murray Barracks gates.