Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP MP, has given his assurance to the people of Ihu and three other districts earmarked for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that Government will support their establishment by providing stable policy support.
He said this yesterday when receiving gifts from the people of Kikori, to thank him for accepting their invitation and visiting their district to launch the Ihu SEZ last month.
PM Marape said the current National Budget of the country was unable to fully support such big projects, therefore, the Government would support through policy directives that woukf enable private investors to invest in the project.
“Government will help in ensuring that the policy environment and framework is there to support work in establishing Special Economic Zones,” he said.
“Ihu is setting the way forward for us to progress setting up SEZs in other areas in the country.”
PM Marape Marape believes that establishing the SEZ in Ihu as a pilot project was the right thing to do, because of resource development projects that are already there.
These include forestry and fisheries, and others that are coming up like Papua LNG and P’nyang, in the district.
He said the SEZ would not only generate employment, but also create an environment for or people to start up and grow their own small businesses.
PM Marape thanked the team that worked together with the Kikori District team to make it possible to move on to Phase two of the project.
The Ihu SEZ first came into public scrutiny when a presentation of the concept was presented during the 2018 Asia APEC Leaders’ meeting in Port Moresby.
Phase One of the ISEZ was initiated with a policy submission to the National Executive Council for approval and initial funding support for Phase two.
The second phase, which has been initiated by the official launching last month, will involve land mobilisation, clan mapping and environmental impact assessment.
When Phase two is successfully completed, an environmental permit is issued, for the project team to go into construction of access roads, electricity and telecommunication infrastructure development, administrative offices, and development of jetties and airstrips.
According to Kikori MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. Soroi Eoe, the Ihu SEZ - once the infrastructure was built - investors/would come in to do business and more than 200,000 jobs will be created.