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PNG Business Council highlights needs

June 20, 2014 7:53 pm

Shipping, customs and quarantine-related issues were raised at the Fiji-Papua New Guinea Business Council meeting held in Suva this week.

Council member and FMF Foods Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Ram Bajekal says there is a need for another direct shipping service to PNG.

“We definitely need at least one direct shipping line operating to PNG. We need direct shipping to Port Moresby. It’s very infrequent and trans-shipment and link that cost you as much as you send something from here to Urele. So that’s quite ridiculous.”

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Bajekal also says the standard of clearance on products should be improved.

“I think in terms of clearance, customs clearance it takes over a week and that by any standards is not an acceptable situation in 2014.”

Fiji Ship Owners & Agents Association representative, Ilai Labaibure says in terms for the services to be undertaken, the volume and cost of the running vessel from Fiji to PNG needs to be looked at closely.

“From last year we have seen a decline in the volume of the dealings that goes to PNG.”

Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation Vice President – Himen Chandra says their investments in Fiji are quite reasonable compared to PNG.

“PNG has got manufacturers as well, in terms of furniture, beddings and lounges but their cost is quite high compared to us.”

Representatives from Digicel, FMF Foods, Bio Security Authority and other members of the private sector attended the meeting.

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