4 Mar 2008

PNG government Minister says on shore tuna processing has many benefits

10:03 am on 4 March 2008

Papua New Guinea's Commerce and Industry Minister says the country will gain more jobs and increased revenue from on shore tuna processing when the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone Park in Madang becomes a reality.

Gabriel Kapris told The National newspaper that the project has the potential to fetch PNG, as well as other Pacific Island countries, revenue of up to $2 billion US dollars.

He said presently the Pacific region contributes 67-percent of tuna to the world tuna market and only gains $67 million US dollars from fishing access fees from foreign vessels that fish for tuna in the region.

When the Pacific Industrial Zone becomes a reality, he says it will see the region gain a mark-up of 200-percent in revenue from on-shore tuna processing in Madang.

The Pacific Industrial Zone has the support of the PNG Government, which Mr Kapris says has recently allocated $7 million US dollars to kickstart it.

The recruitment of the park's management team will be finalised this week.

RD Tuna Cannery in Madang has agreed to free up part of its land where its cannery is located.

The project, expected to be fully operational by 2010, has the potential to create approximately 40,000 jobs in PNG, and will be modelled on the Philippine's current set up of its on-shore tuna processing plants.