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Chinese investors keen to build a major export hub in Vanimo

 Export hub in Lae city, PNG
INVESTORS from China have expressed interest to build a major export hub in Vanimo, West Sepik Province. Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of the China-PNG Comprehensive Industrial Park located at Vanimo, West Sepik Province. The proposed Park will be developed in phases at an eventual cost of K11.88 billion (US$3.8 billion), create thousands of jobs and have an annual output valued at K9.69 billion (US$3.1 billion) As part of the understanding, a framework agreement was also signed by two major Chinese investment groups.

 Under the MoU, a range of investors from Shenzhen, China’s third largest city, intend to build a series of processing and manufacturing plants at two industrial parks in West Sepik. The landmark agreement covers projects of a scale never contemplated before in PNG, including large scale processing of timber products, fisheries, cassava and starch products and tropical spices at the Green River Industrial Park. Simultaneously, development will commence on the ambitious China-PNG Comprehensive Industrial Park in Vanimo for Shenzhen-based corporations that want to produce steel, cement and other industrial products. The chairman of Shenzhen Vivafounders Investment, Mr Li Mu, said benefits that will flow to local communities will include improved transport links, power supply and creation of thousands of sustainable jobs.

Minister Pruaitch said the signing ceremony was “a momentous occasion” based on the bold concept of Vivafounders to build PNG’s first mega industrial park. Describing the industrial park as a “nation transforming project”, Mr Pruaitch said the PNG Government would work closely with the Chinese Government to facilitate development.

 The president of the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), Mr Zhang Mengxing, another key partner in the framework agreement, said MCC had been closely involved in the transformation of Shenzhen from a fishing village four decades ago into China’s third largest city with a population of almost 20 million people and annual exports worth K93.84 billion. Mr Zhang said MCC’s “profound experience in technology and construction of infrastructure” would be put to good use in developing the Park.
Sandaun Governor Amkat Mai told the signing ceremony PNG and China would be able to “leverage each other’s resources and capacity to make this vision a reality”. Shenzhen’s Vice Mayor, Mr Ai Xuefeng, earlier said there was enormous potential for PNG to develop and many areas of potential co-operation between the Shenzhen Municipal Government and PNG.
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