By Delly Waigeno – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, was in China this week on an official visit.
On Thursday, he met with President Xi Jinping where he encouraged Chinese companies to invest in Papua New Guinea.
The Prime Minister said President Xi wants to see a strengthening of PNG’s industrial and manufacturing sector, and to increase exports from the country into China.
The Prime Minister arrived in the Chinese capital Beijing on Wednesday and was met by the Premier of China, Li Keqing before both men inspected a Guard of Honor.
During a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister O’Neill and Premier Li, Mr O’Neill sought greater access to the Chinese market for Papua New Guinean agricultural products.
The Prime Minister said he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting that also saw a number agreements and memorandums of understanding signed between the two Governments that will enhance relations.
China and PNG have now agreed to elevate their relationship through the signing of a Strategic Partnership of Mutual Cooperation and Development.
Mr O’Neill said working at a strategic partner level will bring about greater people-to-people engagement between businesses from PNG and China. This means more trade and greater opportunities for the export of PNG products.
PM O’Neill said the proposal put forward by China for a Free Trade Agreement is being carefully considered by PNG.
He said the only way that we will attract new foreign investment, stimulate export opportunities and create jobs is by engaging in global markets and working with our trading partners.