PM Marape welcomes new National Trade Law

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed passage of the landmark National Trade Bill 2023 by Parliament.

The bill, unanimously passed by Parliament last Thursday (January 19, 2023) after much debate, was introduced by Minister for International Trade and Investment Hon. Richard Maru. It adds to the growing number of important laws passed by the Marape Government since 2019.

“I welcome passage of this very-important bill by Parliament after being introduced by Minister Maru,” PM Marape said.

“It will facilitate the promotion and expansion of trade and investment in the country and do away with the bottlenecks of the past which have hindered, rather than progressed, exports of our raw materials to other countries.

“One of the most-obvious bottlenecks has been continuous transfer of the trade functions between departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry – resulting in chaos and confusion.

“Lack of properly-coordinated trade has seen smaller countries from the Pacific being able to export their taro, ginger and handicrafts to Australia and New Zealand while Papua New Guinea – which has over 80 per cent of the population and landmass – cannot get our agriculture and fisheries products into Australia and New Zealand markets

“A competent and dedicated National Trade Office will be set up – under Department of International Trade and Investment – with a clear legal mandate to identify, negotiate and secure new and better market access for our goods and services.”

The National Trade Office will:

  • Provide leadership and police advice on implementation of the National Trade Policy 2017-2032 and trading matters across all sectors of the economy;
  • Spearhead development and improvement of policy, negotiations, promotion and regulations of trade ad advise Government accordingly;
  • Coordinate and maintain oversight across all sector on implementation of the policy; and
  • Play an advisory role of oversight for regulatory and facilitating agencies of Government on trade-related issues.