Trade Division operates within the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry under the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry. The Department through Trade Division carries out very important international business of the Government of Papua New Guinea.
Trade Division provides policy advice and technical support to the Government for its active and effective participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), World Trade Organization (WTO) trade related agreements, Africa Caribbean Pacific and European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (ACP-EU EPA), Commonwealth, MSG Melanesian Free Trade Agreement, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Islands Pacific ACP matters, Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (PACER Plus) between Forum Island Countries and the Australia and New Zealand, and all bilateral free trade negotiations, trade promotion and development, and trade facilitation, which are central to the function, roles and responsibilities of the current Trade Division within this Department.
With the support of the TRA2 Project, the Department through Trade Division has developed first of its kind National Trade Policy (NTP) 2017 to 2032. The NTP is approved by the National Executive Council in April 2017 as a strategic policy document to guide PNG’s conduct of international business as far as international trade and development is concerned. NTP is uniquely designed to address policy weaknesses of the past and responsive to the present realities of emerging trade and business opportunities and challenges brought about by the globalization process and the liberalization demands of restrictive trade in goods and trade in services sectors.
National Trade Office
The policy provides a clear institutional framework by which PNG must operate with clear linkages of trade regulating agencies, and trade operators who conduct export and import as major part of their operations. The O’Neill-Dion Government had also directed Trade Division to be converted into the National Trade Office as a separate entity purposely to coordinate, monitor, and advice the government on the NTP implementation.
Trade Division which will be converted into the NTO plays a very important function of the Government. Nevertheless, previous ministers and governments constantly moved its locations more than 10 times between different ministries and departments. This movement of trade function caused constant instability and had affected its ability to deliver, lacked coordination between trade actors and regulators, loss of institutional knowledge, duplication of trade functions and wastage of resources. The establishment of the NTO will address all of these issues once and for all. Hence, the current Government has wisely approved and directed the establishment of the NTO without any reservations.