PNG Prime Minister James marape has conclued his Official State visit to Jakarta and Invited President Widodo for a State Visit to Papua New Guinea later this year.
"For so long we have held discussions and focused on border issues and these discussions today with the President and myself was made outside of border and more into trade, business, economy, public service exchanges, health and education services exchanges and it was a timely representing our two peoples and nations." - PM James Marape.
PNG Prime Minister Invites President Widodo for a State Visit to Papua New Guinea.
Approved for Release: Thursday, 31st March 2022 | PNG Office of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has concluded his Official State Visit to Jakarta the capital of Republic of Indonesia by holding a one of one meeting and bilateral discussions with President Widodo.
PM Marape has extended PNG Government's invitation to President Widodo for a State visit to Papua New Guinea later this year.
He said the relations between the two countries must now move from talks on border issues to more on trade and economic relations and business to business and people to people relationship.
“Some relationships we have are not by choice and we have no choice over it but they exist by the design of God.
“For us PNG and Indonesia it is a relationship that we cannot ignore because we are here to exist to stay.
“We are not just friends but more than brothers and sisters and our nations have been together and existed since time immemorial.
“PNG is Mr President is very closer to Indonesia in that respect in our relationship to our brotherhood and sisterhood relationship,’’ he said.
Prime Minister Marape said this at a Joint Press Conference after the bilateral meetings.
“We have always had a good relationship since 1976 when our two nations established formal relationships.
“I just want to say thank you very much again for accepting us to come to pay a courtesy call on short notice and pay our due respects and give recognition where it is due.
“That is especially the respect and support Indonesia has given to us since the last 46 years we have been together since our nations got independence.
“Indonesia stood us with in many fronts. From the work load and support when we became formal bilateral partners in 1976 and you were responsible for our admission to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) membership.
“And you have always been there for us in some difficult times as we have struggled as a nation in our crisis days, in our financial stressful days, and lately in the COVID-19 stress and pandemic that affected our economies,’’ said PM Marape.
He thanked President Widodo for the Indonesian Department of Health who helped PNG in that respect.
“We PNG Government, business houses and leaders and PNG public servants will forever be grateful to Indonesia as we have been in the past.
“Today has been the first step and my delegation here has been totally given the due respect as we feel it and also it is due for us to extend our invitation to you and the Government of Indonesia to visit Port Moresby next year so that we have those hands on meetings.
“The extent of our discussions between our two nations as it was done when the then Indonesian President and our PNG Prime Minister who then met and reached an understanding in that Comprehensive Partnership Agreement that the two Leaders come up with in 2013 shall continue.
“Unfortunately after 7 years those exchanges have not progressed further and I am happy that under your leadership as Mr President see the importance of that reconnection with PNG at the Government to Government level is held like today.
“For the public it is not just myself and the President and the Government. We have brought ministers from both sides to get them connected and we are bringing our private and business sector and those special contacts that is important for our two nations to coexist going into the future supporting each other.
For Papua New Guinea, Indonesia is a big country and it’s a 3 trillion dollars economy and they are hosting G20 this year and I wish them, Indonesia the very best and we thank you for hosting and inviting the Pacific Island Forum to the margins of the G20 meeting later this year.
“This is an indication that Indonesia is a big economy and is a sleeping giant as Papua New Guinea tapping into that potential Indonesia has already and Indonesia could offer to Papua New Guinea.
“Mr President I just want to conclude by saying that our comprehensive discussions that we have just held at personal levels went well.
“And at the Government to Government levels as our bilateral discussion are going well and we look forward to officials from both sides working on those agreements like the Defense Cooperation Agreement will be finalized very soon at the latest,’’ said Prime Minister Marape.
He said apart from the border agreements and talks Papua New Guinea wants more cooperation and exchanges at the commercial levels.
“We also want such exchanges not only at the border level talks but the business level.
“’For so long we have held discussions and focused on border issues and these discussions today with the President and myself was made outside of border and more into trade, business, economy, public service exchanges, health and education services exchanges and it was a timely representing our two peoples and nations.
‘’And we look forward to our meeting in Port Moresby next year to see how much we have progressed."