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In developing the National Trade Policy (NTP) the Government of PNG has been mindful of its current context in both the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements. PNG is party to a few bilateral trade relations with key partners in the Pacific. It is also party to several regional trade agreements, notably: MSGTA, SPARTECA and PICTA. Beyond the Pacific rim, PNG concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) and is actively engaged in negotiations in the context of the APEC trade agreement. PNG is also a member of the WTO.
In its pursuit of bilateral, sub-regional and regional trade negotiations, PNG will continue to identify markets where it can receive a cost advantage for products of strategic interest and create secure, predictable market access conditions by concluding WTO compatible trade agreements/arrangements wherever possible. In addition to addressing the tariff barriers for PNG’s exports the NTP seeks to harmonize and align PNG’s trade facilitation measures (customs procedures, SPS and TBT requirements), with its trading partners.
It will also seek the most effective rules of origin requirements that will allow exports to be competitive in those markets.
Further, given the increasing share of services in the country’s GDP, PNG intends to include services in the scope of its trade negotiations and secure better access
conditions for their supply.
Accordingly, the main objectives of the NTP may be summarized as follows:
1) To send a strong signal to the international community that PNG is open for business.
2) To expand market access, inclusive of negotiations of terms that will result in market presence for PNG’s products and services in foreign markets, thereby sustaining trade surpluses on both the merchandise and services accounts.
3) To protect consumer welfare through strengthened enforcement of intellectual property rights and ensure national standards and compliance measures are respected.
4) To create an environment in PNG that is conducive for doing business and increasing employment, by ensuring that costs are reduced and are also transparent and predictable.
5) To identify markets where PNG can receive a cost advantage for products of strategic interest and create secure, predictable market access conditions through trade
6) To advocate for the elimination of large scale subsidies provided by trading partners that distort international trading prices on products of strategic interest to PNG.
7) To mobilize resources to finance needs of the trade and trade-related sectors.
8) To mainstream the SMEs into trade deals by negotiating clear terms of establishment of foreign firms in PNG’s markets in sectors of strategic interest through goods and services scheduling commitments.