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‘Downstream processing’ PNG goal

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, October 14, 2009) – Downstream processing of timber has been on the lips of many politicians and experts over the years but little has been done to date. A glimmer of hope was given yesterday when

Shanghai, a city in China, said it could assist PNG to process its timber and sell the finished products.

Currently, Shanghai has an agreement with Brazil under a joint venture arrangement where round logs are further downstream processed for export.

A high powered delegation from Shanghai is in PNG to foster trade talks with government and business officials.

The delegation is headed by vice chairwoman of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce of China Ms Jian Heping, who held a conference with PNG government and business officials at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to explore ways to increase trade.

When answering questions from officers from the National Forest Authority, Ms Heping said Shanghai could go into a joint venture with PNG, similar to the Brazil one and process the timbers locally.

Speaking through an interpreter, Ms Heping said she would discuss this matter with relevant authorities in China and see how best this could be done.

PNG and Shanghai’s current trade accounted for AU$100 million [US$91 million] but her delegation’s aim here was to increase that to a higher amount.

Notes and contacts were also exchanged with local businessmen and government officials with a view to helping build more trade between the two countries.

The PNG Chamber of Commerce also said it would look into signing an agreement with Shangai for trade purposes like it has done with Townsville, Cairns and Darwin in Australia.

The conference was hosted by the PNG Investment Promotions Authority and its boss Ivan Pomaleu headed the PNG contingent.

The Shangai delegation includes Ms Heping, Mr Zhang Bin (Director Policy & Research), Mr. Ma Junsheng (Deputy Director Comprehensive Department), Ms Jiang Jing (Section Chief, comprehensive Dept), Ms Chai Rong (Deputy Director, Foreign Affairs Dept) and Ms Wu Jun (Section Chief Foreign Affairs Dept).

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