PNG appoints Hon Trade Commissioner to Australia

Mar 17, 2024 | Blog, News

The Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru, recently announced a significant step in Papua New Guinea’s trade strategy: the establishment of a Trade Commission Service, starting with the appointment of Rex Paki as the Papua New Guinea Honorary Trade Commissioner to Australia, based in Brisbane. This move underscores the country’s shift toward trade and investment-focused international relationships, moving beyond traditional diplomacy.

Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru.

Minister Maru said that these important appointments aim to bolster Papua New Guinea’s two-way trade and investment relationships with major countries. Mr. Paki, along with other future appointees, is tasked with seeking export markets for Papua New Guinea’s goods and promoting trade and investment opportunities, including attracting foreign direct investment and investors to Special Economic Zones. These efforts are crucial for PNG’s economic growth and development, particularly in sectors like LNG gas, mining, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

The Trade Commissioners, as private citizens, will operate independently with their own offices, reporting directly to the Minister for International Trade & Investment and the Secretary for Department of International Trade & Investment. This move is expected to result in significant cost savings for Papua New Guinea, estimated at K5 million annually, as the appointed commissioners will not be government employees. However, they will collaborate closely with Papua New Guinea’s diplomatic missions worldwide.

This initiative comes at a time when Papua New Guinea is actively seeking to expand its trade relationships and secure markets for its products on the global stage. Furthermore, it aligns with PNG’s broader economic agenda, which includes attracting foreign investment and facilitating trade through international partnerships.

Australia and Papua New Guinea share a longstanding and multifaceted trade relationship. As neighbouring countries, they have a history of economic cooperation, with Australia being one of Papua New Guinea largest trading partners and a significant source of foreign investment. Additionally, Australia provides development assistance to PNG, supporting initiatives aimed at economic growth, infrastructure development, and capacity building.