PNG needs to reconsider export market

PAPUA New Guinea needs to start considering alternative export markets apart from the European Union in which the country enjoys some concessions, an independent consultant says.

Staff Reporter

Chakriya Bowman, who works with several organisations in the country in various sectors, said the EU was also doing trade deals with other countries and in time, PNG exports would be rendered uneconomic, The National newspaper reports.
"About 10% to 15% of the EU's imports are now coming from PNG. About 90% of Papua New Guinea's canned exports go to the EU and only 10% goes to other countries mostly Fiji.
"We are taking advantage of the concessions that the EU is giving to PNG but the EU is also doing trade deals with other countries in South East Asia and in particular we've had periods were tariffs have already been dropped for the Philippines for tuna.
"We know that as those tariffs go down and that protection goes away, Papua New Guinea's exports become more uneconomic.
"The NFA should think about what fisheries would look like if we came to the end of canning. Without alternative export markets and those are hard to find, the conversation should be around how to get the most out of tuna and the obvious choice is fresh and frozen loin tuna which is high value added." 
Bowman said the country needed to look at the Australian and New Zealand markets.