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Chinese push for SEZ laws on Bougainville

Reporter Stephanie Elizah says a team of Chinese investors who have been visiting Bouginville are pushing the Autonomous Region's government to allow the establishment of Special Economic Zones.

SEZs are tax free enclaves where businesses are also exempted from normal labour, immigration and environmental laws.

The Chinese government is currently negotiating a loan with the PNG government to build the infrastructure for PNG's first SEZ, the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone, in Madang. 

The Chinese investors who visited Bougainville were led by special investment agent Jason Fong. They presented to members of the Bougainville Business Association and Bougainville government a proposal for the establishment of a special economic zone (SEZ) for Kokopau and Buka (the image shows a birds eye view of the proposed mega city the Chinese would build on Bonus Plantation).


Fong said the SEZ would mainly involve cocoa, estimated to net an annual revenue of K1.5 billion for Bougainville, and marketed mainly to China.


Other requirements requested by the Chinese included the transfer of a 99-year lease to Gang Xin Zhao Fang (PNG) Co Ltd free of charge and a minimum of five and maximum of 10 years tax holiday for industry developers and global merchants.


The proposal highlighted issues the Bougainville government needed to address, which included ABG defining and passing a SEZ policy covering the Bougainville land use policy, public and private investment and tax concessions.

The International Finance Corporation, a part of the World Bank, is currently assisting the PNG government by drafting SEZ laws to go before Parliament.

Comments

Is this part of the same crazy scheme?

BG okays multi-billion mordern city project 

THE Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Executive Council has approved a multi-billion kina proposal to transform its gateway to mainland Bougainville-Kokopau- into a high tech-metropolitan area. 
The project is estimated at K1.2 billion and will be a sophisticated large urban area with a variety of modern city buildings including a trade centre, an overhead bridge linking Kokopau and Buka Island, a sports complex, a shopping mall, a six lane road and many more fountains and gardens and solar-panel thatched residential areas.

Thomas Rabans, executive of the Bougainville Business Council, said last night this project will be funded by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce through the Chinese Government and that they were in full support of it.

The Business Council and the Bougainville Administration also advised the paper that ABG President John Momis and his executive council members are now in negotiations with the Chinese Government and should be expected to take the proposal to the next level for approval for the funding from the sponsors of the project so the project should start in two years time.

“Kokopau will be highly transformed and this is exactly what we wanted,” Mr Rabanz said.
“We are in total support of the concept because it will benefit everybody on Bougainville. You see, from the business community’s point of view, this project was initiated by the Chinese, no, it is wrong, it’s not a Chinese project, and we ideally and initially wanted this to happen to Kokopau.

“Politically speaking, they don’t want it built in Buka, they want it built in Arawa or Buin but we are saying, now this is an ideal project for Kokopau and we the business houses are fully supportive and behind this because it will be the best model for the Pacific,” he said.

“We also have wholesaling agenda....ABG will partner with China to supply goods throughout Bougainville, PNG and the South Pacific, we will get into downstream processing.”

He said the ABG was in talks with the Chinese Government who has agreed to help fund the industrial town which will include an overhead bridge linking Buka town and Kokopau across the Buka passage. 
The change at Kokopau will look somewhat like Abu Dhabi or Singapore - and it will cost K1.2 billion.  

>Other requirements requested by the Chinese included the transfer of a 99-year lease to Gang Xin Zhao Fang (PNG) Co Ltd free of charge and a minimum of five and maximum of 10 years tax holiday for industry developers and global merchants.


I'd watch this 99-year request - you don't sign leases for that period of time on land that is rich and lucrative in minerals and natural resources - to be paid for by cocoa exports? don't make me laugh...

Anyway, why would Bougainville want to emulate the glitzy bright lights of Abu Dhabi or Singapore? When PNG is not even comparable to either?

The idea of SEZ as tax free enclaves where businesses are also exempted from normal labour, immigration and environmental laws - alarm bells should be ringing as to why labour and immigration would be exempt, does that mean flood of Chinese workers instead of Bougainvilleans? and the environment?

I'd recommend the politicians to read the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins - you can get a free pdf copy here: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/archivos_pdf/confession_economichitman...

No, we don't need another SEZ!!!!!!!

At ALL COST...stop this. Al stright-thinking Bougainvilleans as well as other countryman, please don't allow this to happen. What is K1.2 billioncompared to what we can do ourselves (although slow) but that's the way we do it.

Had enough of Chinese!

joshuaGEN

Grand dreams for a small island nation.
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