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PNG's export sector

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a total land mass of about 463,000 km² much of which is arable land. Over 85% of the nation’s population is involved in farming and agriculture. Agriculture activities contribute to a quarter of the country’s GDP, and, together with fisheries accounted for 10.2% of total exports in 2015 totaling K594.2M (AUD 244M).

The main agricultural exports are cocoa, coffee and coconuts. Forestry product exports (excluding round logs) were valued at K95.2M (AUD 39M) in 2015 contributing to 1.6% of export revenue . While agricultural commodities are an integral part of PNG exports, the fresh produce industry primarily targets the domestic market with some limited export opportunities for Australian, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific Island countries. PNG Government policy is to promote agricultural development for both domestic and export supply.

Public-Private Partnerships

Central to the PHAMA approach is the development of strong public-private partnerships (PPP’s) between the government and private sector to help manage market access. PHAMA has established a Working Group in PNG to provide strategic direction to the Program’s activities. This group includes private sector representatives (e.g. exporters, processors, and production groups) from various industries and relevant government agencies responsible for market access (e.g. Departments of Quarantine, Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries, Health and Forestry). To broaden and deepen engagement with the private sector, PHAMA has also facilitated the establishment of Industry Working Groups (IWGs) specific to Papua New Guinea’s key export industries of cocoa, coffee, coconut and fisheries.

 PHAMA’ s activity focus in PNGFiji_edit

The PHAMA Program launched in PNG in November 2015. Consequently, the Program’s activity focus is evolving as more is learnt about where PHAMA can add value. Overall, PHAMA’s strategy in PNG is to improve market access for the country’s key export industries and to promote industry coordination through the IWG’s. PHAMA continues to explore new market access opportunities for other horticultural and fresh agricultural produce, but it is recognised that these are likely to be limited. As a result, the current focus areas include:

  • Fresh Produce - In collaboration with the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) and other partners, PHAMA is reviewing existing and exploring potential new export pathways to Australia, NZ and Melanesian countries. The findings from these reviews will guide future capacity building, export pathway development and trade facilitation activities.

  • Cocoa, Coffee & Coconut - Global cocoa demand is expected to grow 30% by 2020 from 3.5 to 4.5M tonnes, and there is growing demand from boutique chocolatiers for high quality, “single origin” cocoa. Working closely with the national Cocoa & Coffee Boards, PHAMA is helping farmers and exporters to identify and supply into higher priced markets, by meeting quality and certification requirements. PHAMA is also considering opportunities to support market development through value adding (chocolate making, coffee roasting, and high value coconut) as well as improving processing, packaging and branding.

  • Handicrafts - PNG boasts a stunning array of indigenous handicrafts. At the same time, cruise ship visits to PNG are becoming more frequent, offering opportunities for increased handicraft sales. PHAMA is collaborating with a major cruise ship company and local industry stakeholders to improve tourists’ awareness of quarantine standards and what handicrafts they can and cannot take home to countries like Australia and New Zealand. This also involves advising handicraft vendors on which products they should or should not be selling to tourists. Fiji_editPHAMA are developing a series of guides, posters and video materials to inform vendors, operators and tourists about quarantine standards that apply to handicrafts, so as to promote handicraft sales.

  • Forestry - PHAMA will work with both producers and exporters of forestry products, the National Forest Authority, and related bodies to identify opportunities to support PNG processed timber exports. Activities will include: progressing systems which confirm that timber has been legally harvested; identifying opportunities for new or improved markets for processed timber products; and identifying opportunities to assist small producer groups to export.

  • Spices - PHAMA is working with partners to clarify market access requirements and quality standards for spices for import into Australia. The Program will also assist with certification, packaging, and marketing of spice products.

  • Industry Plans - PHAMA is in discussion with key industries about reviewing existing industry plans and identifying areas for improvement relating to market access. This will not only help the strategic development of these industries, but assist PHAMA in targeting assistance to strengthen public/private coordination mechanisms.
Australian Aid
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme