Friday, 18 November 2022

Prime Minister James Marape meets US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken (right) during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday 17 November 2022. (photo credit PM’ s Media Unit)

The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has invited the United States of America to invest in downstream processing in Papua New Guinea, especially in fisheries.

He made the invitation to US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday 17 November 2022.

Prime Minister Marape said it was a privilege for PNG to have been given the honor of meeting Secretary Blinken.

The bilateral also comes after the Biden administration hosted the first-ever U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington, D.C. on September 28–29, bringing together more than a dozen Pacific Island leaders and other key observers to discuss areas of shared interest, including climate change, maritime security, and economic development; and as the US prepares to open its new Embassy building in Port Moresby later this month.

Thursday’s  bilateral  was the culmination of a busy first day at APEC 2022 at which PM Marape had meetings with several international companies in which he invited them to invest in PNG.

Mr Marape was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, Secretary of  the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council,   Ivan Pomaleu and Foreign Affairs Secretary Elias Wohengu during the  meeting with Secretary Blinken.

“The US pledged to engage more with us and asked us what kind of support we wanted,” he said after the meeting.

“We didn’t ask them to give us more grants and aid – all we asked was for them to bring in more US businesses into PNG, particularly in the downstream sector.

“We pointed them to the area of fisheries, saying that’s the best they can do for us, to economically empower us not just today, but more importantly into the future.

“We invited them, as the biggest global economy, to bring in their companies and take up residence in PNG.”

The meeting also  covered, among other aspects :

•         Follow-up on discussions from the Washington meeting, especially that PNG’s case was different from smaller Pacific nations;

•         PNG’s location in the Indo-Pacific region;

•         PNG’s reliance on Asia for commerce and trade;

•         US companies operating in PNG, especially ExxonMobil, which recently celebrated 100 years in the country;

•         USA inviting Pacific Island countries to the next APEC which it will host