3 Jul 2019

Bougainville MP wants the region making its own chocolate

12:55 pm on 3 July 2019

The MP for South Bougainville is hoping that Chinese investors will fund a chocolate factory in the region.

A sack of cocoa beans that was sailed to New Zealand from Bougainville by the Wellington Chocolate Factory.

Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

Tim Masiu has recently shown a delegation from Guangdong around the southern part of the autonomous Papua New Guinea region.

He said along with making chocolate, they expressed an interest in fishing, hydro-electricity, solar power, building a harbour and manufacturing such items as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Mr Masiu said making more of Bougainville's cocoa crop has long been a dream of his and he wants Bougainvilleans to be able to export a finished product and not just the raw material.

He said he made it clear to the Chinese delegation that any deals wouldn't be signed until after the Bougainville referendum on independence from PNG, to be held from 12 October.