Monday 4 September, 2023
Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. James Marape, MP.
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape begins his three very important visits to Israel, Indonesia and France to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s bilateral relations for stronger trade and commerce exchanges with the three nations.
The visits are scheduled for 4-5 September for Israel, 6-7 September , Indonesia, and 7-8 September for France.
The visits to Indonesia and France are to reciprocate the recent visits of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and French President Emmanuel Macron to Papua New Guinea, while the Israel visit is at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to open an embassy in Israel.
“I am visiting these three nations at the invitations of their leaders and government. Papua New Guinea has a strong relationship with all the nations that relate to us,” said PM Marape.
“In this day and age where Commerce and Trade is interlinked with government to-government relations, it is important that we maintain strong rapport with these nations at the national leadership level.”
For France, Prime Minister Marape has noted its importance as the world’s 7th biggest economy while its multi-energy global company, TotalEnergies, is the lead developer of our Papua LNG project.
“France has become an important nation to us. One of its biggest investors, TotalEnergies, is the lead developer of our Papua LNG project.
“We are also engaging in specific bilateral areas with France that are not limited to government and politics but has expanded to cover business relations as well.
“Our conversation on Climate Change has now been elevated to a new level and taken on renewed fervor as expressed by President Macron during his recent visit to PNG, where he committed to lead the advocacy on Forest Conservation by Forest nations. Papua New Guinea is one of these nations.
“These are serious conversations we would like to continue. They form the different aspects of our bilateral tie which are now being ramped up.
“My reciprocating these presidential visits is part of the ongoing work we are doing government-to-government upon which our various Public Service organizations can utilize to push trade and businesses exchanges even further.”
With Israel, the Prime Minister noted the historic and symbolic meaning in the PNG-Israel bilateral ties reaching this new level, with Papua New Guinea joining only a select few to open an embassy in Jerusalem, and the direct opportunity to now draw from Israel’s huge capacities in knowledge and technology.
“This is a milestone and historic moment. PNG is a Christian nation, and we certainly appreciate the God of Israel who is the universal God,” said Prime Minister Marape.
“We will join the United States and only a few nations that have their embassies in Jerusalem. This is historic. The opening of the embassy in Jerusalem is at no cost to us, which is even better news.
“Israel is a knowledge-based economy, a nation of high technological advancement. We would like to draw from their wide capacity and strength – not just the religious and social worldview – but to really tap into their knowledge, skills, and their industries.
“I will be a special guest of Israeli Prime Minister Hon. Benjamin Netanyahu, and I am grateful for his invitation.”
“It will be a very busy week with only a few days of meeting each of these leaders but it is important that we continue these links and convert them into actual benefits for our country.”