O’Neill Aims to Open More Business Ties with Europe

by Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV, Port Moresby

Creating more jobs for Papua New Guineans and advancing the nation’s engagement with Europe was the aim of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill’s recent visit to Brussels and Paris.

Mr O’Neill met with a range of business representatives, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

The prime minister said his meeting with Mr Tusk, provided the opportunity to deepen and widen interaction on important issues. This includes Europe’s concerns in relation to fisheries.

“We discussed action being taken in Papua New Guinea to combat illegal fishing,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Both the European Union and Papua New Guinea want to deal with illegal fishing and we are cooperating to achieve a positive outcome.

“President Tusk and I further had the opportunity to further discuss visa issues. We are working towards having improved visa arrangements for Papua New Guineans travelling to EU countries.”

“Next year we are looking at the trade and investment forum being held in Paris and alternate this with London each year.”

O’Neill said Europe must not be seen to be too far away, but an important market, particularly for PNG products.

Areas include banking, energy, fisheries and the agriculture sector.

The prime minister thanked the Governments of Belgium and France for their support in facilitating the visit.

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