Urgent Push for Downstream Processing in PNG: Minister Maru Announces Potential Investment Opportunities

Hon. R Maru, the Minister for International Trade and Investment and Yangoru-Saussia MP, has announced that Papua New Guinea is exploring every opportunity for downstream processing. The international trade and investment community is currently looking at two potential investment opportunities in the country.

One of the potential investments involves building two refineries, one in the Coconut space and the other in Kokopo, to process all of Papua New Guinea’s coconut oil into cooking oil. This will prevent the export of raw crude coconut oil to other countries for downstream processing, and instead, the country can process its coconut oil locally, adding value to the product and increasing the country’s revenue.

The Minister has also highlighted palm oil as another area of interest. International trade and investment are exploring the development of the palm oil sector to make soap and cooking oil, reducing the need to import these products from other countries.

In addition, Papua New Guinea has high-value cocoa production, which can be used for chocolate production. The country aims to attract investors to manufacture chocolate locally, thereby reducing the need to export cocoa beans. Coffee is another area where the country is exploring downstream processing.

The government is keen to move into downstream block processing, and the Minister recently returned from Africa where he saw a big industrial park. The country has the necessary resources, including timber and land, to set up a processing plant in a special economic zone in Port Moresby.

This move towards downstream processing will add value to local products, increase revenue, and provide employment opportunities. With the international trade and investment community showing interest in the country, Papua New Guinea has a bright future in the downstream processing sector.

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