The country will introduce an export tax for fishing companies using unprocessed fish from PNG waters from July, says International, Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru.

“We own the resources, but we keep being used because we have no capacity and we have never really had a vision to rise up,” he said.

“We have been used and larger fishing nations who think that they can continue to come and walk over us.

“The time has come for us to give them a signal that the days of using our resources and using us just for our resources (have gone).”

He told his counterparts from African, Caribbean and Pacific nations in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for a World Trade Organisation ministerial conference that the Government was negotiating to buy into a major fishing company with the view to owning vessels.

“We are very determined to domesticate our fishing industry, and we are hoping that the negotiations will conclude (soon) and for the first we will own a company and build our own processing facilities,” Maru said.

“We are going to declare the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang a free-trade zone.

“We will give tax incentives to every company which wants to build their own processing facilities in the PMIZ, including those from the Pacific.

“We already have a wharf, and we are working on servicing all the vessels.

“We cannot continue to be rent collectors.”

Maru also met with the Fijian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Small-Medium Enterprises Manoa Kamikamica and agreed to meet in Suva again for bilateral talks.

“The agenda of the discussions will include ratification of the Melanesian Spearhead Group trade agreement, dual listing of the PNG stocks in the Fiji Stock Exchange and vice versa, investment opportunities for Fiji investors in Special Economic Zones in PNG especially manufacturing companies, investment opportunities for PNG companies in Fiji, training of Papua New Guineans in Fiji in the area of tourism, and non-tariff barriers of PNG export goods to Fiji,” Maru said.