An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
The commissioning of laboratory equipment for NATSL at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UNITECH) represents a major step forward for the organisation to serve as a regional laboratory that provides independent laboratory sample testing services. The benefits to national trade are significant as local business has access to testing and analytical services of a higher standard and quality than was previously the case. This improvement in the quality of testing and analysis, results in a higher level of assurance that market regulations on consumer health and food safety are complied with. This is particularly important for trade and not only means PNG products can continue to be supplied to the EU markets but also enables PNG products to enter markets for which previously certain tests could not be carried out.
The European Union-funded project, Trade Related Assistance Phase II (EU TRA 2 Project) included extensive technical support to the National Trade Office (previously the Trade Division of the Department of Commerce and Industry). Procurement work to supply the technical equipment was carried out by the Department of National Planning & Monitoring through its National Authorising Officer Support Unit (NAO-SU).
NATSL is one of the five laboratories identified for the supply of laboratory equipment procured through EU TRA 2 under its Component 3 which focuses on trade facilitation. The supply of equipment is being done in two parts: the first lot being for four labs in Port Moresby. The four labs, National Agriculture Research Institute (NAQIA), National Institute for Standards and Industrial Technology NISIT, National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), and the Centre for Public Health Authority Laboratory (CPHL) are yet to receive their equipment. The second lot of equipment has been delivered and installed successfully at the NATSL lab at UNITECH for a total value of Euro 536,406.00 (PGK 2 million) for a number of state-of-the-art technical instruments sourced from a number of European high-end laboratory equipment manufacturers.
Supplying top quality equipment to laboratories like NATSL is an EU intervention that will greatly improve efficiency for PNG trade by reducing import and export costs, enhanced compliance with quality and standards and therewith improve access to foreign markets. This is also important in view of PNG's accession last year to the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The commissioning of the equipment at NATSL on Friday, 15 March 2019 was officiated by Hon. Richard Maru, MP, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Papua New Guinea, and the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Unitech Dr. Ora Renagi. Other important delegates to the event included H.E Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama, Ambassador of France, H.E. Keith Scott, British High Commissioner and Mr Andrew Liliura, Secretary for the Department of Commerce and Industry.