Thursday 06th June 2023

Governor General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae welcoming President of the Republic of Indonesia, HE, Mr Joko Widodo at Government House yesterday. Picture courtesy of Government House media.

The Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, has encouraged the private sector from both Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to further explore the huge potential for increased trade and investment between both countries in areas of bilateral trade.

Sir Bob made these remarks during a State Lunch he hosted in honour of the Indonesian President, Mr Joko Widodo on his one day State visit to Papua New Guinea, on Wednesday 6 July 2023, at APEC Haus, Port Moresby.

In welcoming President Widodo and his delegation to the country, Sir Bob said the President’s presence in Port Moresby, is a testament to the close and friendly relations between both nations.

“Excellency, your visit to Papua New Guinea to attend the Second Annual Leaders’ Dialogue, further strengthens our two nations’ commitment to the 2013 Papua New Guinea-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and its plan of action which is the main platform for promoting peace, stability and prosperity between our two countries and peoples, based on the principles of mutual respect, trust, friendship and cooperation.

“This includes cooperation in the areas of political and security, economic and development, education and training, culture and tourism, and people-to-people contacts.”

Sir Bob emphasises, PNG and Indonesia are not only neighbours, but are physically connected and provide a critical link connecting the larger Asia to Oceania and the rest of the Pacific that offers boundless opportunities for all.

“Both our countries’ geographical proximity to the ever growing and dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific region gives both our nations significant competitive advantage that must be sustainably explored for our future generations.

“Your visit to Papua New Guinea to attend the Leaders’ Meeting also further strengthens our enduring partnership and our continuing cooperation in regional forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum- A-R-F, the Bali Democracy Forum and the United Nations, amongst others.”

While noting the easing of travel restrictions, in both countries, Sir Bob said, it is heartening to see business, student and recreational travel returning to pre-covid levels – greater mobility and economic recovery is in both our nations’ interests.

Citilink Indonesia has already started regular flight operations between Denpasar in Bali and Port Moresby, commencing on Sunday 2 July 2023.

This is a direct implementation of the 2013 Air Service Agreement signed by both countries.

“People-to-people links in business, culture and education are one of the most enduring elements of our relationship,” he added.

The inaugural PNG-Indonesia Business Forum was also convened and launched at the APEC Haus on Wednesday 5 July 2023.

Sir Bob said Indonesia is a vital partner in educating and training many Papua New Guineans, , and acknowledged the Indonesian Government scholarships and training opportunities to build the skills demanded by the business world, and in turn, deepen the understanding of our two peoples.

When commenting on the different ethnicities in Indonesia, Sir Bob also acknowledges that amongst the different ethnicities in Indonesia, ethnic Melanesians constitute more than 13-million people which is the largest number of Melanesians living outside of the Melanesian Spearhead Group of countries including Papua New Guinea.

“In that context, we are in fact bounded by a shared cultural experience that further adds value to strengthening our people-to-people links and optimism for a brighter future for both our two countries.”

Sir Bob further expressed his confidence that the close, friendly and productive relations between the two countries will continue to prosper in the years to come.

The Governor General also commended both President Widodo and Prime Minister Marape for a successful bilateral meeting.

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