Australia, PNG sign deals for strategic, economic partnership
Papua New Guinea and Australia yesterday signed the PNG-Australia Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP) during a virtual summit in Port Moresby and Canberra.
Prime Minister James Marape and his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed the agreement yesterday.
“I am delighted to be able to sign this historical and significant document today with Prime Minister Morrison as it reflects the deep, enduring and maturing relationship between our two nations and provides the foundations for a deepening of cooperation in the years to come,” Mr Marape said.
The CSEP provides the strategic context to elevate and advance relations between both countries over the next ten years and beyond and encompasses commitments around six core pillars:
Strong Democracies for a Stable Future;
Close Friends, Enduring Ties;
Economic Partnership for Prosperity;
Strategic Cooperation for Security and Stability;
Social and Human Development; and
Near Neighbours, Global Partners.
He said, “each of these pillars embody the mutual values and beliefs that our two nations share”.
To ensure practical outcomes to this enhanced arrangement, the CSEP will be guided by a detailed plan of action that will operationalise the aspirations and goals of PNG.
CSEP is the fifth such arrangement Australia has with other nations.
For PNG it adds value to the 1987 joint declaration of principles (JDP) and 2013 joint declaration for a new PNG-Australia partnership and this CSEP, supersedes all previous arrangements we have with Australia and will now become the benchmark of how we relate with Australia into the future.
Mr Marape said that this was done within the framework of our ‘friends to all and enemies to none’ Foreign Policy approach.
“I am particularly pleased that the agreement recognises our government’s ambition to see 50 per cent of donor programs dedicated to supporting improved, high-quality social and economic infrastructure consistent with our longer term goals,” he said.
During their discussions, Mr Marape conveyed his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Australian government for their generous and continued support funding of K1.7 million, medical supplies (shipment of 12,000 rapid test kits) and specialised Australian doctors to help PNG in its fight against Covid-19.
“This support, at such a critical time, has further strengthened our bilateral partnership,” he said.