Papua New Guinea-Korea Relations Providing Greater Linkages to Asian Economic Engagement

The Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has expressed his desire to see greater engagement with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as Papua New Guinea increases interaction with Asia.

During a meeting this week with Korea’s Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Seong-Choon Kim, the Prime Minister said he hoped to see increased cooperation in areas that include air travel and visa arrangements, fisheries exports and development programs.

“As Papua New Guinea continues to strengthen our economic, political and cultural engagement with Asia, South Korea is an important partner and friend in the region.

“Our two countries have discussed the potential to establish an Air Services Agreement (ASA) that will deepen trade and cultural exchange.  An ASA would further facilitate the expansion of Korean technical expertise in Papua New Guinea and enable the delivery of fresh food exports to the Korean market.

“Business and trade between our countries is a two-way street and our increased port capacity in Lae will provide a potential shipping hub for Korean products traveling to the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, and Indonesia.

“To further enhance trade and investment linkages, South Korea proposed the consideration of reciprocal arrangements for visa-free entry for businesspeople and officials.”

The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the Ambassador for already strong investment and development support form South Korea.

“It is encouraging that more and more South Korean firms have in recent years shown interest in investment and trade in Papua New Guinea.

“Investment from South Korea in fisheries projects in Lae is already worth more than 20 million Kina and these are investments that will benefit people in both countries.

“South Korea has also demonstrated how a developing country can transform into a leading global economy through effective planning, sound economic management and hard work.

“These are principles our government applies, that are evident in the current transformation we are seeing in the economy, jobs and living conditions in Papua New Guinea. 

“With this common approach in mind, our two countries have discussed the Papua New Guinea Government’s desire to ensure future development support targets priority areas under our medium and long term development strategies and National Vision 2050.

“Papua New Guinea appreciates South Koreas ongoing and generous partnership support through the Korea International Cooperation Agency.”

PM O’Neill advised the Ambassador that he is looking forward to seeing South Korea’s President, H.E. Park Geun-hye, when they meet at the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Beijing in November.

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