Maru defends SEZ policy

Article courtesy of the Loop.

Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru is reemphasizing the national Government’s policy of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) stating that it is a signature policy of the Marape-Rosso government.

“We have a very good SEZ Act that was passed in 2019 and we are just finalizing the final draft of the new SEZ Foundation Policy. PNG’s SEZ Legislation provides a rigorous framework for evaluating potential SEZ Projects, as well as tightly monitoring their ongoing operation and fulfilment of stated objective,” states Maru.

Minister Maru says governments around the world frequently implement short-term incentives and even preferential treatment, such as allowing skilled migration for selected in-demand professions to address needs and achieve strategic objectives.

Maru highlighted that countries like China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines utilize SEZs as the major driver for sustainable and inclusive economic growth and continue to invest in them.

He added: “PNG SEZs are no different. This Government is determined to implement the SEZs on the back of the success of many other countries and learning from best practice right throughout the world.”

Minister Maru says by the time the Paga Hill SEZ is put together, the development will transform the city with 12, 000 new jobs and millions of Kina in GST and personal income tax.

“We are working to build a great nation and a great city.”

In response to a critique on SEZs encouraging corruption, Minister Maru stated, “If there is any corruption in the implementation of our SEZ Policy then please provide us the facts so we can deal with such claims or refer such allegations to the appropriate authorities.

“The Marape-Rosso Government has nothing to hide and we have no self-interest in the discharge of our responsibilities in driving SEZs as the main driver of economic growth in the non-resource sector.

“In the MTDP4 we plan to create 1 million new jobs over the next five years and based on the experience of so many countries we are certain SEZ will be the major creator of new jobs,” said Maru. 

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