Papua New Guinea Minister for International Trade and Investment Richard Maru has assured investors in Asia that his government has its sights set on free trade agreements with China and Indonesia.

He said his ministry, in tandem with a new parliamentary committee, will look into the impediments to business, with the aim to ease such disincentives to investors coming into the country in all sectors.

“We need to reduce the cost of doing business. Our parliament, last week, established a new committee which is tasked to look at how we can reduce the difficulties in doing business and the committee has been established for the first time and they will look into that aspect.

“How do we make it easier and that aspect of business and the cost of doing business.

“We are now going to undertake a six-month study on the viability of having a free trade agreement with China.

“I’m working to be in Indonesia in the coming weeks to start the discussions with the trade minister of Indonesia we want to also undertake the study of Papua New Guinea looking at the viability of a free trade agreement with Indonesia,” Minister Maru stated.

He said PNG is serious about growth and economic partnership with the two large economies.

Maru reiterated that while the extractive sectors do raise the revenue, they don’t generate the jobs except in their construction stage.

“Fisheries, forestry, hospitality tourism, that is where the big jobs are.

“We will start putting trade commissions in cities with trade commissioners right around the world,” he added.