Friday 18 November 2022
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says Chinese President Xi Jinping has given him an undertaking to buy more or all that Papua New Guinea produces.
The undertaking was made during a bilateral meeting between President Xi and PM Marape on the sidelines of APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, today (Friday, November 18, 2022), where PM Marape said that it was no longer aid or grant that was in the forefront of his agenda but trade, commerce and more business between both countries.
Mr Marape said after the meeting that the onus was now on Papua New Guinea to start increasing production in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, oil and gas, and other areas like tourism to supply the very big Chinese market.
He was accompanied by International Trade and Investment Minister Hon. Richard Maru, Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko and Secretary Elias Wohengu, PNG Ambassador responsible for Thailand H.E. Peter Vincent, as well as senior Government officials.
“The meeting with President Xi Jinping went very well.
“I congratulated him on his re-election and mentioned that we look forward to entrenching China-PNG relations, especially in the area of trade and commerce.
“President Xi also congratulated me on my re-election as Prime Minister of PNG,” he said.
“We agreed that a Free Trade Agreement must be concluded at the very earliest that would secure both nation’s interest so that trade and commerce happens within this realm.”
Prime Minister added that President Xi also extended an invitation to him for a State Visit to China next year during which time the Free Trade Agreement is expected to be signed.
According to Prime Minister Marape, President Xi supported the Government’s move into downstream processing of the country’s natural resources at PNG’s Special Economic Zones, adding the Chinese market was ‘endless’ for PNG products.
“The Chinese President said he supported PNG’s move into downstream processing and would get Chinese companies to invest in this space.
“President Xi supported my idea to have direct flights between Shanghai and Port Moresby, which will complement our plan to increase business opportunities between our two countries, as well as people-to-people relationships.
“There over 100 million tourists leaving China every year and direct flights to Shanghai from Port Moresby can target this market.”
PM Marape thanked President Xi and the Chinese Government for continued support to PNG over the last 47 years and pledged continued partnership going forward into the future.