Media Release – 12th January 2022

In a meeting held yesterday at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abu Dhabi, PNG Minister for ICT Timothy Masiu and UAE Minister of State for Economic and Commercial Affairs, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh held a high-level dialogue discussing on matters of trade and ICT.

Minister Masiu informed Minister Al Sayegh that since the signing of the Joint Communique in New York, USA in 2017, both PNG and UAE have maintained warm and friendly relations since.

“PNG highly values the cordial bilateral relationship between our two countries and there is a strong willingness on the part of the PNG Government to further strengthen and deepen the relationship.”

Minister Masiu mentioned that the UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nayan had visited Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in 2014 and this was reciprocated by visits from Minister Masiu yesterday following the visit in 2021 by the former PNG Minister for Forestry, Walter Schnaubelt.

“I encourage both countries to further enhance high-level visits at both the leaders’ and officials’ level.”

Minister Masiu said that he had attended the Expo2020 to connect with any opportunities created by the event and to engage with the UAE at the political level with the hope of advancing bilateral cooperation for mutual gains in cultural exchanges, tourism, trade and investment and people-to-people connectivity.

Minister Masiu went on to express PNG’s interest to commence discussions on a memorandum of understanding on Information and Communication Technology with the UAE given that the UAE is a world leader in digital transformation.

“The PNG Government has a digital transformation policy and a desire to modernise its whole-of-government ICT infrastructure and shared services. It cannot do that by itself and is seeking international support through long-term partnership arrangements and with like-minded countries like the UAE.”

Minister Masiu said that the UAE has advanced digital infrastructure with an agenda for artificial intelligence and that the PNG Government seeks to solicit the support and contribution of the UAE to PNG’s modernisation efforts through bilateral, technical, and business-to-business cooperation.

Minister Masiu said that the economic development of Dubai and the UAE is an exemplary case of strategic investment in technology as reported in the Digital Transformation in UAE 2020 Report.

“Papua New Guinea is very keen to explore bilateral support in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) space, technology investments and explore trade opportunities that will be of mutual benefit.”

Minister Masiu was accompanied by Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and UAE and Commissioner-General of the PNG Pavilion at the Dubai 2020 Expo, His Excellency Mr. Joshua Kalinoe.

Authorized for release.

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