Post Courrier | 3 October 2022
A potential large-scale rice farming company in the Philippines will be sending a delegation to Papua New Guinea in November this year to evaluate the country’s potential for large-scale rice farming in Central Province.
Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru highlighted this as one of his achieving agendas in his recent trip to Philippines.
Minister Maru invited them to visit PNG and look at going into commercial rice farming.
“PNG needs to identify up to 90,000 hectares of land to grow rice in order to produce the rice initially to feed our own population and to export the surplus back to the Philippines,” he said.
“We will be working very closely with the Central Governor and the leaders from the Central Province to assist us in identifying land in Central Province to grow rice on a large-scale.
“It would also be a great opportunity for the landowners when we are talking about a K800 million per year rice import replacement opportunity.”
PNG with Philippines have a long relationship, yet they had not formalised the relationship with Trade Agreement or an Economic Partnership Agreement.
The two countries also agreed to have their first trade meeting to discuss the signing of the long outstanding double tax treaty, free trade agreement and technical assistance from the Philippines to PNG for Special Economic Zone development and downstream processing support, especially in commercial rice farming.
Mr Maru said at this stage they are envisioning trade meetings to be hosted between the two countries every six months until more progress is made on the country’s trade and investment relationship.
It is also a concern that the Philippines Government provides on-arrival visa for Papua New Guineans travelling into Philippines while PNG does not provide the same.
Mr Maru said PNG Government needs to look into also providing on-arrival visa for the Filipinos travelling to PNG so there can be more people to people contact between the two countries.
The first trade meeting is planned to be held on the first week of November after confirmation from the Philippines Government.