The government has a pipeline of 12 special economic zones to diversify the economy
“PNG’s decision to go into SEZs is probably the most important economic decision any government has made since independence [in 1975 from Australia],” says Richard Maru, PNG’s minister for international trade and investment.
SEZs are a pillar of the government’s plan to diversify its economy away from resources. Hydrocarbons and metals accounted for 86% of PNG’s goods exports in 2021, according to the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. They also drew 82% of its inbound FDI over the past 20 years, according to fDi Markets.
So far, the government has licensed one SEZ: the K4bn ($1.1bn) lifestyle-focused Paga Hill precinct along Port Moresby’s waterfront, the first two projects of which are a casino being built by local developers and a K130m luxury apartment building reportedly backed by Malaysian property investor Jimmy Poh.