Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko has announced plans for the reestablishment of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Port Moresby starting next year.
Minister Tkatchenko made the announcement after his recent trip to Korea Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers meeting in Busan Metropolitan, South Korea.
He said KOICA, South Korea’s Aid agency which had spent millions of kina throughout the world and the Pacific on many different projects, had closed their office 10 years ago.
“With negotiations between the South Korean Foreign Minister, KOICA President and I, we have concluded that we will re-establish the office once again in Port Moresby.” Minister Tkatchenko said.
“Having the Aid agency opening up its office in PNG would allow us to access funds for infrastructure, health, education and training and would enable our different government departments to work together”
“The South Koreans are very humble, professional and hardworking people and they really want to make this happen.”
“We look forward to working with the South Koreans by early next year to open the new KOICA office,” Minister said.
Minister Tkatchenko also announced the proposed establishment of the Ocean and Fisheries Corporation Centre (OFCC) in Port Moresby.
He said the proposed OFCC would be coordinating relationships between South Korea and the Pacific Islands in the area of buying, selling, and trading fish and marine resources.
“South Koreans are big seafood eaters; they love fresh fish and other sea foods. It’s part of their natural diet and they want to do more when it comes to buying and trading our marine products.” Minister Tkatchenko said.
“They wanted to set up the corporation centre in Fiji, but I interjected because 15 percent of the world’s Tuna comes from Papua New Guinea.”
“I negotiated for them to come to PNG so they have taken off the previous decision to go to Fiji and the centre will now be established in Port Moresby.”
“These meetings are not for free riding around but they are to negotiate for the benefit of our country and our people.”
“We have fought to take away from Fiji the OFCC, nothing against our Pacific neighbours but PNG can do it better when it comes to our natural resources.”
“Having KOICA re-established over the next year for the benefit of aid, trade and economy is another bonus,” he said.
Additionally Minister Tkatchenko said that South Korea also buys a lot of our country’s Gas products along with major consumers like Japan, USA and China.
“They are looking forward to buy more gas from PNG. We look forward to continue working with the South Korean Government. They are very keen to visit next year to push forward and implement the decisions we made in Busan last week,” Minister Tkatchenko said.
Minister Tkatchenko said 90 percent of all Pacific Foreign ministers attended the summit.