BY GORETHY KENNETH
Papua New Guinea’s national advocate for Free Trade and Special Economic Zones, the former Governor for Sandaun John Tekwie has welcomed Prime Minister James Marape’s recent announcement for Manus as tax haven freezone.
Mr Tekwie said the report on Manus by PM Marape was a smart economic strategy for Manus and PNG.
He said Manus has a very highly diversified educated population and can really make unmatchable progress by fully embracing the project if they can all work together and mobilise their own Freezone development model.
“I have been working with a small Port Moresby-based committee led by prominet Manusian Charles Litau to develop the Manus Tourism Freezone (MTFZ) in collaboration Department of Commerce and Industry since 2018 and so the Prime Minister’s announcement charts a bright new way for Manus,” Tekwie said.
In supporting the Manus Tax Free zone announcement, Mr Tekwie said, as the national advocate of Freezones for many years he is now calling on the Prime Minister to also declare Vanimo as the first Free Trade Zone.
This is given the peoples long readiness and preparation for 27 years since 1992, saying the Vanimo FTZ project has legal basis founded on the Free Trade Zones Act 2000.
“I call on the Prime Minister to get the National Executive Council (NEC) to approve our NEC submission which is before NEC now and move this project forward and finally impliment the law which has remained dormant for 19 years now,” he said.
“We wish to inform the Prime Minister and nation that the Vanimo Free Trade Zone project has been working closely with principal landowners executives of P’nyang, Angore and Muruk 1 & 2 gas projects in Western and Hela provinces and the National Gas Corporation Ltd for many years to develop the Northbound LNG corridor toward developing a new energy hub in the Vanimo Free Trade Zone in Sandaun Province.
“Out of this plan we intend to ultimately develop a new economic development zone comprising Sandaun, Hela and Western provinces to be called SAHEWE EDZ wherein SAHEWE EDZ basically connotes first initials of these three provinces,” said Mr. Tekwie.
Mr Tekwie said his advocasy for freezones over the years has created development PPMIZ in Madang, Sepik Agriculture Zone in ESP, Bana FTZ in Bougainville and now Manus as announnced by the Prime Minister and said development of special Economic Development Zones at selected strategic locations like Vanimo, Manus, Bougainville, Milne Bay, Kikori and Daru is the most logical economic platform to underpin downstream processing to promote PNG’s export of its vast resource base.
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