Tuesday 26 September, 2023
Pacific Island Forum Leaders during the 2nd US-PIF Leaders Summit at the White House, Washington DC. The Summit is being Chaired by US President Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON D.C: Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has used the opportunity of the 2nd US-PIF Summit to push for more follow-up action from the United States besides Security and Politics that he said must also encompass Trade & Commerce and other development areas.
He pointed out that a “full” relationship between the two countries “must embody all other areas including Commerce, Trade and Economics”, and that one year since the first meeting, there has to be a practical measurement of how much progress has been made between the US and Pacific Island Forum nations including PNG.
The Prime Minister made these remarks during his Country Statement at the summit, chaired by President Joe Biden and held on Monday 25 September 2023, at the White House, as he continues to push for additional gains for PNG, especially in the areas of Climate Change, business and trade, and PNG/Pacific’s access to USA for study and work.
“We are here today to measure how much we have progressed since our inaugural summit in September last year.
“Papua New Guinea comes to this Summit in 2023 from a much-improved relationship with the United States but that is mostly from the Security perspective, which we must step up on all other fronts.
“The full strength of our relationship must also embody other development areas including Commerce, Trade and Economics.
“Last year, for instance, our trade volume with USA – the number one economy – did not go past $300million. The United States runs miles behind Australia, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Europe, using PNG’s trade data.
“As PNG is closer and has more access to the Asian market, we know that the depth of any nation-to-nation relationship is usually anchored and balanced when there is more commerce and trade relationship,” PM Marape said.
Prime Minister Marape encouraged the United States to consolidate its place as a true and significant partner in the Pacific by increasing its presence in the area of people-to-people and business-to-business exchanges between the two countries, and the greater South Pacific (Blue Pacific Continent).
He said PNG recognized the value of Public-Private Partnerships, provided through the opportunity of the Summit and related engagement with renowned global business icons in the mobilization of resources to support the implementation of regional priorities.
“These include Fisheries development, Climate and Oceans finance, Trade, Labour mobility, as well as other opportunities for sustainable growth and development. These are all critical issues under the 2050 Strategy and the 2050 Implementation Plan.
“As one of the larger economies of the Pacific region, PNG seeks to source support through regional cooperation on areas in Fisheries, Oceans, Agriculture, and Vulnerabilities to the effects of Climate Change.
“For Papua New Guinea, our five-year Medium-Term Development Plan IV recognizes strategic development partnerships; this cooperative arrangement will not only benefit PNG but it will assist PNG to help the rest of the Pacific region.”
PM Marape said the PNG-Pacific Cooperation Strategy demonstrates PNG’s commitment to ensuring that Papua New Guinea was contributing effectively to achieving the sustainable development aspirations of the Pacific region through its engagement with development partners such as the United States.
“PNG looks forward to a fruitful outcome of this second USA-PIF Summit,” PM Marape concluded.