PMIZ hits a legal hurdle

Controversial plans for PNG’s first Special Economic Zone, the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang, have hit a legal hurdle.

Although the government had negotiated a $180 million loan from the Chinese government to fund the building of the industrial park, that loan is in breach of PNG law. This is because under the loan agreement one particular Chinese company will get to build the park and 70% of the loan monies have to be spent on Chinese goods and services. This breaches PNG laws that require open and competitive bidding process that includes at least 3 companies.

Of course the government is attempting to use its tried and  tested approach to inconvenient legal hurdles by drafting emergency legislation that it will bulldoze through Parliament to secure an exemption from the competitive bid requirement.

It is also understood that the wider Special Economic Zone law that the International Finance Corpoartion (part of the World Bank) is writing is close to finalized and will be presented to PNG government in the coming week or so.

The law will be based on Yemmen's SEZ law, which is reportedly the most 'efficient' and based on what the World Bank regards as 'global best practices'.

The SEZ law will allow companies to operate tax free within the zones, avoid any import or export duties and ignore PNGs minimum wage regulations.


What a pity! What a loss for all of in Madang so ready to enjoy 20,000 new Chinese residents, presumably none of them English speakers---and the joy of having 60-70 new purse seiners filled wih able bodied seamen at Vidar for our young girls meet and greet-- not to mention the many small businesses that would profit in sales of beer, earplugs, condoms, and of course tin fish, once all our own fish is sufficiently cleared from the area. Who dares stop such development?

Nancy could probably discuss options rather than just painting into the minds of the readers a horrific uncertain future scenario.

Negative impact of this development is something that we could probably control at least if we will strongly articulate how we want this development to push through and throw our concerns in a proper avenue of discussion. It would be a different agenda if the advocacy is for the total stoppage of the project and to keep discussing it in a manner and avenue that proper resolution could not possibly be achieved.

Objective discussion is needed and not just telling the people about horrifying tales of evil waiting in he future for afterall we will not allow presumptions to kill our nation's ability to leap forward and toward resource development.

Just wondering, is Nancy Racist? She obviously scares readers of Chinese people's possible residency in Madang.