The bilateral relationship betweePNG and Australia is set to take on newer heights as both countries look to foster stronger economic links.
That’s fromthe new Australian High Commissioner to Papua New GuineaDeborah Stokes.
Sincethe formation ofthe 9’s up>th parliament,the O’Neill/Dion Government has taken a strong stand onthe revitalisation of its foreign relations. The recent one sought after is Thailand.
Despitethe new comers,there arethe existing ones…one of this is our traditional trading partner, Australia. With destinies entwined, both governments are focused on strenthening trade ties in line with global and regional economic trends.
Commissioner Stokes saidthe look tothe future is promising…Australia for instance is keen on takingthe global arena, withPNG by its side.
“Beth our economies sharethe benefits of …. a strong resource base tothe economy, of course that brings a lot of opportunity but it also brings challenges. Sothere’s a lot that we have in common in that sense. Australia wants to work even more closely with Papua New Guineain Regional and international matters so we want to work with Papua New Guineaas a partner bilaterally but we also want to work closely with Papua New Guineaonthe global stage…”, Ms. Stokes said.
Surprisingly, Australian investment in PNG is much bigger than its investments in China…andthe high commissioner says this alone speaks volume for future projections.
Ms Stokes sain PNG is already reckonedthe biggest economy inthe pacific, with a strong democratic system. This gives it a lLeadersip role inthe Pacific.
Ms. Stokes went on to say, “We always support a strong Pacific voice in international bodies, and Papua New Guineais very well placed to articulate a pacific view.”
One ofthe main priority areas that Australia has for now is to supportthPNG government with its reform agenda across many fronts. Two key priorities includethe support for the establishment of anIndependent Medical Procurement Agency; andthe establishment ofthe Sovereign Wealth Fund.