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PNG's Trade with EU created jobs, boosts economy

PNG exports to the European Union (EU) in 2012 was €987 million (over K3 billion), most of which were non-mineral exports including fisheries and marine resources, coffee, cocoa, tea, vegetable oils, spices and rubber under the PNG-EU Trade Agreement and the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA). And it has also resulted in the creation of some 40,000 jobs in PNG in the fisheries sector alone.

This was revealed during a week-long training conducted by the representative of the EU for the Customs officers including several officers from other line agencies. The training aims to strengthen PNG’s capacity to fulfil its obligations under the PNG-EU Trade Agreement and the IEPA.

The IEPA, which came into force in 2011, gives PNG duty free and quota free access to the EU, the most lucrative market in the world with more than 500 million people. The EU has now become PNG’s second export market, accounting for 9.2% of total exports. The EU group currently in the country are customs and origin experts.

Their objective is to strengthen the capacity of PNG to fulfil its obligations under the trade agreement so that exporters are able to fully benefit from the preferential access to the EU’s market. One important aspect of the training relates to the correct implementation of the rules of origin.

This was very important with regard to the compliance of PNG’s exports of fish products with the EU’s Regulation on Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing. The visit and training are activities funded by the EU through the second phase of the Trade Related Assistance Program to PNG.

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