EU Ambassador to PNG Ionnis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos said a good 50 per cent in just five years was a result of the country’s production built to attract investments through the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in 2009 and ratified in 2011.
Under this agreement, PNG was able to have access the duty and quota free admission to the large EU market.
Argyropoulos said part of this increase came from the tuna industry where five major onshore tuna processing factories have been established and two more are being planned.
“These investments, in turn, created jobs, directly and indirectly mainly for women,” he said.
He said the EPA did also have a positive impact on fisheries governance.
Whereas illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing remains a challenge not only for PNG but for the entire region, the EU acknowledges the efforts and advancements of PNG in promoting a whole-government approach to address the issues.
“Based on this experience, the EU encourages PNG to play a more prominent role and support other Pacific countries in the fight against IUU fishing.
“Therefore our trade agreement has also delivered strong economic benefits in terms of investments and jobs for PNG and in the sustainable management of resources.
“EU sees PNG as a model of EPA and encourages PNG to promote the widening of the current EPA to other Pacific Island States. Yet it is widely acknowledged that the EPA is far from reaching its potential for PNG growth and development and that PNG’s ability to trade requires reinforcement.
And this is exactly one of the areas targeted by our development cooperation,” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS