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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 8, 2001 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---The Papua New Guinea government has been challenged to initiate legislation that would require copra to be processed locally.

Former East New Britain Premier and businessman Sir Ronald ToVue said the government should make changes to the law to stop copra exports, and allow producers to sell only to the two copra mills in the country - in Rabaul and Madang.

Another East New Britain leader, former ambassador Sir Paulias Matane, earlier said many leaders have talked about downstream processing but none in authority have really tried to do something about it.

Sir Ronald said the spin-offs would be more job opportunities, among others.

He said the two mills should be made to pay better prices for copra and to venture into refining crude copra oil.

Sir Ronald said for this to happen the government must limit its import of oil and encourage the use of locally produced oil.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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