K750,000 a week passes over PNG border

PORT MORESBY, 19 JUNE 2018 (POST COURIER) — About K750,000 (US$230,000) in a week passes over the border into Indonesia’s West Papua Province, Papua New Guinea Minister for Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu estimates.

Minister Isifu revealed the figure when visiting the Wutung Border station with Minister for National Planning Richard Maru and vice Minister for Finance Johnson Wapunai.

“One sided trading of our currency sees about K750,000 a week spent by Papua New Guineans over the border.

“Money is going out to Indonesia, this is an important message to get out to make sure the balance of trade is happening here also,” he said.

Isifu said his department will also look at other facilities to enable smooth flow of trade such as the proposed Momase international highway to connect Morobe Province via Watarais in the Markham valley all the way to Wutung and into Indonesia.

He said a delegation will package a submission that will capture all that is needed and submitted to the National Executive Council (NEC).

“We need an international bus stop here. We need to also relocate our SME and informal sector market at this border.

“We are looking to relocate the SME sector market to the old airstrip so these are some of the things that we will have to do.

Meanwhile, Maru said the government will send a group of technical officers to stock take of what the country has and lacks.

“We have to do so we can fast track and get this place open. This place has been sitting like this since 2014 and it is not acceptable.

“We left it in the hands of BDA and nothing has happened. It has been a lack of focus on our part and I want to admit as a Government,” Maru said.

“Unless we do that, there won’t be regional growth,” he added.