Prime Minister James Marape called upon Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open up an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of their interventions in the fight against COVID-19.
Prime Minister James Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘economic bubble’ with Pacific Island Nations
Sunday Bulletin | 3rd July 2021.
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has called upon Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open up an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of their interventions in the fight against COVID-19.
The Prime Minister made this appeal during the 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM) that was held virtually today.
He said at this stage, COVID-19 in as far as Pacific Islands are concerned, was not just a health issue but an economic issue as well.
“In Papua New Guinea we recognize that COVID-19 has had a strong negative impact on our economy,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“Speaking on behalf of my 14 other sister nations in the Pacific, especially those who are dependent on tourism or external trade, dependent on fisheries, agriculture and the export of our raw resources, who are totally exposed to the ravages and the damage COVID-19 is causing to our local economies, so we need international trading and commerce for our economies to function.
“Papua New Guinea, having recognized the need for our economy to be functional, has elevated our COVID-19 response by way of the passing of a specific Act of Parliament called the National Pandemic Act that defines how we live, work, operate and trade.
“We have not closed our borders and we are still open for business to ensure our 10 million people survive COVID-19.
“At this juncture, let me thank Japan for your continued interventions and interest in our small Pacific Island nations. They are totally vulnerable and exposed to the contraction of the global economy and the close of international borders.
“Therefore I ask for your continued presence in helping us, not just in the area of health but more importantly, on how we can ensure trade and economy remains functional and relevant.”
Prime Minister Marape asked Japan, Australia and New Zealand to help the Pacific Island nations keep their economies going, by operating in a specific trade and economic bubble so that our countries’ economies can survive through these tough times.
The Prime Minister further thanked the Prime Minister of Japan, Hon Yoshihide Suga for the help Japan has given to the region and he also thanked Australia and New Zealand for their continued support.