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Trade Awareness Workshop underway in Buka

Bougainville in the future when it gains its independence between 2025 and 2027, will negotiate trade agreements to become party to different trade agreements and arrangements at the bilateral, regional and multilateral level.  

ABG Vice President and Minister for Commerce, Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Hon. Patrick Nisira, made this statement at the opening of a three-day awareness workshop yesterday in Buka, on the role of the National Trade Office (NTO) and the partnership that exists between NTO and the ABG.

“I’m delighted to witness the first ever trade policy awareness in the region that is the result of the MOU that my department had signed with the National Trade Office of the Ministry of International Trade and Investment in July 2023,” he said.

The MOU between the NTO and ABG include arrangements for comprehensive in-house training, job attachments, trade missions, trade negotiations, trade promotion and engaging in trade-related meetings and consultations.

“The MOU is basically a capacity building of the departmental staff who will be engaged with NTO to acquire the required knowledge on the different aspects of trade policy, trade agreements negotiations and knowing the multilateral trading rules under the World Trade Organization (WTO) that governs the global trade, thus preparing our officers and the region for our independence,” Minister Nisira explained.

According to the Minister, this workshop is important for Bougainville to understand the role of NTO, Bougainville’s partnership with NTO, trade agreements, trade rules that govern international trade which dictates what Bougainville consumes and sells.

“Trade is referred to as the engine of economic growth for any country because it can create market access for our cocoa, copra, fish and commodities to other countries, this then allow us to get foreign exchange, creates employment and investments, we import what we do not produce in Bougainville, we can send our people to work in other countries,” Minister Nisira said.

Minister Nisira acknowledged the efforts of his department in ensuring that the workshop was brought to the region and welcomed the Director for the National Trade Office Bridgette Kamish and her senior officers who are here to facilitate the awareness.

The workshop is open to all ABG Economic Sector Department Heads and senior officers, Bougainville Business Community, Bougainville exporters and importers, Border agencies which include Customs, Immigrations, Ports and individual citizens.

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