Madang, Papua New Guinea, June 3, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the government of
Papua New Guinea to develop a strategy to establish multi-use Special Economic
Zones that could help create jobs and attract foreign investment.
The strategy will provide the country
with best-practice approaches to develop and operate economic zones. Known
as SEZs, these zones are geographically delimited areas set up with conditions
conducive to investment. Incentives are provided to startup businesses
through simplified processes, and by supplying infrastructure and labor.
SEZs have the capacity to promote private sector growth, increase foreign
exchange earnings, encourage export growth and diversification, create
jobs, and increase government revenues.
“A zone strategy highlighting best-practice
legislation and policy will provide the government with the building blocks
to establish a successful Special Economic Zone,” said Peter Cusack, IFC
Country Coordinator for Papua New Guinea.
The strategy will detail the appropriate
legal and regulatory framework and economic incentives necessary for an
appealing zone regime. It will also address the government’s plan to establish
the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone promoting investment in onshore processing
of regionally caught tuna.
The project made an important step forward
yesterday when the PMIZ project’s National Management Committee and Technical
Working Group, along with IFC representatives and members of the private
sector gathered in Madang to plan the administrative, technical, and financial
strategy going forward. The National Management Committee is led by the
Department of Commerce and Industry and includes other key national and
provincial government agencies concerned with planning and implementing
the project, as well as representatives of the fishing industry.
In opening the meeting Gabriel Kapris,
Minister for Commerce and Industry, reiterated the government’s commitment
to seeing the PMIZ implemented. The minister urged both public- and private-sector
participants to work together to realize Papua New Guinea’s ambition to
establish itself as the regional and ultimately the global tuna capital.
He also welcomed the support of IFC as a key development partner in creating
a best-practice framework for the SEZ. The SEZ project is part of IFC’s
broader advisory program. IFC’s donor partners for advisory services are
the governments of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.