To ensure industrial development accelerates efficiently, the Papua New Guinea Government is revising its trade and tariff policies.

Substantial changes in those policies is alleviating the problems the industry has experienced, such as the high cost of inputs. Coupled with the concerted effort being applied to improving the country's physical infrastructure, education and vocational training opportunities and health services, there are potential investment opportunities in downstream activities.

These infrastructure improvements and lowering of input tariffs greatly reduces production costs. Industry has been urged to adopt cost-reducing, efficient techniques on the factory floor and within management, to prepare itself for foreign competition when protective tariffs are greatly phased down.

The sector has a close working relationship with the Government. A strong representative body exists in the Papua New Guinea Council of Manufacturers. There is regular consultation between its members and key senior government departments and statutory bodies. The Chamber also deals with private sector organisations in negotiating better prices for the supply of goods and services.

A manufacturing database is being developed for both the Government and manufacturers to facilitate collection, collation and cross-referencing of essential statistical data on manufacturing in Papua New Guinea. It will be used to highlight to the Government and industry, any systems defects, deficiencies, anomalies or requirements which are in need of attention. Overall, it will help to improve industry through the provision of improved and timely information.

The database is also expected to boost domestic and export marketing and facilitate identification of alternative sources of manufacturing inputs.

The level of skills in the manufacturing sector is also being given special attention. Organisation and planning for a major, long-term vocational training programme is near completion. It is intended, initially to concentrate on the manufacturing and processing industries, but provisions will be made to extend its usefulness to other sectors.

It is vital to the sector to improve the quality of its products, increase its export opportunities and improve the nation's standard of living through employment opportunities, product quality and pricing.

In co-operation with the domestic manufacturing sector, the Government of Papua New Guinea has put into place strong policies which will lead to the development of a strong domestic production base to replace reliance on the non-renewable resources industries such as mining and petroleum. The Government seeks to generate greater domestic production of most basic consumer and industry needs. As such incentives and concessions are granted to businesses with a policy of import substitution.

At present, Papua New Guinea imports almost all processed food, clothing and footwear. Most inputs to industry and commerce are also imported, so there are many opportunities.

Copyright © 2004 Embassy of Papua New Guinea to the Americas and Globescope, Inc.
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