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The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister, Manasseh Makiba officially opened the 7th Pacific Tuna Forum on behalf of Prime Minister Marape at Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby this morning.

Minister Makiba in his welcoming remarks echoed Marape- Davis Government’s ambition on downstream processing.

He mentioned that government is embarking on establishing a High-Level Committee comprising of relevant government departments and agencies, and the fishing industry to identify a clear set of policy options and strategies that would attract additional onshore investments.

The Committee to be set up will be led by Minister Lino on developing policy to increasing downstream processing, access greater market opportunity and sustainable management of tuna and fisheries resources in PNG.

The committee will task NFA and fisheries industry players to set target achievements for medium terms within the next two years and long term plan.

This will contribute to the current Government’s vision to give economic independence in terms of greater downstream processing in the fisheries sector for greater internal and sustainable revenue generations and benefits to the country.

“It is essential that Pacific Island countries take into account the overall value of the tuna fisheries and the employment opportunities that onshore processing could create.

“It is also important that Pacific Island Countries work together to establish common understanding in monitoring of investments in the region.

“Efforts must be given to discoursing investors from shifting their investments and the reflagging of their fishing vessels from one island country to another,” said Makibah.

He stressed for Pacific Island Countries to remain true to their resolution to maintain regional solidarity that has been the greatest strength to date.

“We in the Pacific are blessed with abundant fisheries and marine resources. We must continue to ensure that our resources are harvested on a sustainable basis to safeguard our livelihoods as well as the livelihoods of our future generations,” said Minister Makibah.

Government is considering appropriate policies and strategies that would make PNG an attractive location for investments within the tuna industry and the fisheries sector.

Over the two days’ forum there will be various discussions on issues and opportunities within the tuna fishery under the theme: “Sustainable Tuna Fisheries: Driver for Social and Economic Growth and Development in the Pacific.”

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