PNG PM Marape Welcomes Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Payne
PNG Prime Minister, James Marape, MP, has welcomed the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and also Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne to Papua New Guinea during a courtesy call paid on him this morning.
The meeting was an opportunity for PM Marape to reaffirm PNG’s commitment to strengthening and enhancing the bilateral relations with Australia. PM said there would not be many changes in terms of PNG’s Foreign Policy and the bilateral relations with Australia but he would be looking at areas to consolidate and strengthening the existing relations the two countries continue to have over the years.
Mr. Marape also acknowledged Australia’s continuous contribution towards the nations development such as the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG) and the importance of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in up- skilling Papua New Guineans for the Australian job market.
He added in their discussion of the Government’s priorities and stressed the need of reforming and strengthening the Public Sector by conducting regular training programs in PNG for Public Servants.
The PM whilst thanking the Minister for her Government’s support in conducting Police Programs in the country also encourages continuation of these program.
In response, Minister Payne reassures PM Marape of her support to further broadening the PNG- Australia bilateral relations through Comprehensive and Economic Partnership (CSEP) that would be built on key issues, priorities and values shared as well as encouraging more business engagements with PNG.
Minister Payne said that Australia will focus on Economic Infrastructure which has a financing facility worth AUD$ 2 Billion and will consider viable and transformative projects.
She further informed PM of the Office of the Pacific which, is an important whole of Government approach for Australia in implementing one of their aspect of Foreign Policy which is the Pacific Step-Up.