By Adelaide Sirox Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has returned from his first state visit to Australia, stating the trip allowed his Government to establish the relations going forward with Australia. James Marape stated that a detailed report will be released in the coming days on agreements agreed on, including the refugee arrangement with Australia on when they will be resettled.
Mr Marape said talks were held on economic partnership, the Pacific mobility program, investment and Pacific issues like climate change.
However, on the issue of Manus and the resettlement of refugees, the Prime Minister stated that discussions are still continuing with Australia on when exactly all refugees should be resettled.
Speaking at the media conference after arriving today from his trip, Prime Minister Marape stated:
“I took this opportunity to consolidate on our Nation’s view on improving our relationship to a better and higher level including us having an equal economic relationship then as in the present case where there is huge trade imbalances and where PNG citizens and business find it hard entering Australian market contrary to ease in which Australian citizens and businesses enter PNG.”
Adding that Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, indicated that his Government’s policy of “step up in Pacific” will include greater dialogue with PNG that has 80% of the entire Pacific population.