22 May 2013

PNG pulls plug on joint venture talks with NZ

1:50 pm on 22 May 2013

Papua New Guinea's trade minister says he is no longer interested in discussing joint ventures with New Zealand businesses.

Richard Maru visited New Zealand last October and expressed a desire to have New Zealand companies invest in dairy and sheep meat farming and geothermal power production.

He said at the time he wanted to establish joint ventures to create opportunities and wealth in PNG's rural heartland.

But Mr Maru says no New Zealand company got in touch and he is now looking elsewhere.

"We came to New Zealand we tell you we would like to get some sort of provision to start a dairy industry, there is no interest from New Zealand. You want us to continue to be a market for yourselves. You don't want to help us build capacity so we can stop importing your dairy products see. That's the problem. Those days are past. We will not accept this nonsense anymore."

Richard Maru earlier this week said PNG should pull out of the PACER Plus plan for a Pacific common market because it favoured New Zealand and Australia at the expense of the island countries.