The Autonomous Bougainville Government is opening its doors to foreign direct investment from developed nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, the United States, and European nations, President Ishmael Toroama said in a statement on 31 October.
“The government recently declared Bougainville open for business, but this is a specific call to these nations who have contributed to the development and peace of Bougainville in the last 20 years since the cessation of the Bougainville Civil War,” Hon. Toroama said.
He said the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, the United States, and “other important development partners have played a significant role in infrastructure development in Bougainville.”
“However, I would like to see this support become focused on supporting economic investment in Bougainville,” he added.
“My government believes that foreign direct investments will increase economic growth in Bougainville, improve social welfare for our people, and foster stronger ties with the international community,” the President said.
The Autonomous Bougainville Government is currently transforming Bougainville economically and politically “through our aspirations for independence and sovereignty,” Hon. Toroama said.
It is time Bougainville looks at fostering relationships with the nations he mentioned “that will benefit us through economic investments and provide much-needed infrastructure development in Bougainville.”
“As Bougainville looks towards the future, these are the very nations we will establish diplomatic relations with as an independent sovereign nation by enhancing peace and stability in the region and promoting mutual understanding and cooperation on various issues,” he said.
The ABG looks forward to working with potential partners to advance the common interests and values of Bougainville and the world, the President said.
“The ABG is committed to ensuring that any investment is made in a transparent, accountable, and sustainable manner, respecting the rights and interests of the people of Bougainville,” he said.