The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has welcomed the President of the Republic of India, H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, to Papua New Guinea saying the visit demonstrates the warm relations that exist between the two countries.
In their bilateral meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of current and potential co-operation opportunities in areas that include agricultural production, downstream processing in the hydrocarbon sector and healthcare and education exchange.
“We are pleased to welcome His Excellency, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, to Papua New Guinea for the first visit of India’s President to our country since relations were established in 1976,” PM O’Neill said following the meeting.
“President Mukherjee’s visit is historic and symbolic, and provided the opportunity to discuss a number of issues that will further enhance our relationship.
“India’s support is greatly appreciated in areas such as the Technical and Economic Co-operation program and Defence Cooperation.
“There is a great deal that we can learn from India’s experience in areas that include agricultural production and our hydrocarbon sector.
“In food production India has moved from being import-dependent on food, to now being a net food exporter.
“We further discussed the potential for co-operation in downstream processing for our hydrocarbon sector as we move away from exporting only raw oil and gas.”
Prime Minister O’Neill said trade and investment continues to grow between the two countries and investors from India are finding success in Papua New Guinea.
“We have a number of companies that are making an important contribution to business and the economy and employing many Papua New Guineans.
“Now with the development of the Papua LNG Project, India has the opportunity to secure a reliable supply of LNG.”
PM O’Neill said India and Papua New Guinea have close engagement in a number of international forums and this continues to increase.
“Our two countries have a healthy dialogue in the Forum for India-Pacific Islands co-operation and we have offered to host the next meeting in Papua New Guinea.
“The global community has great confidence in India’s strengthening international role and its desire to expand membership in important organisations.
“Papua New Guinea fully supports India's bid for permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and we have further pledged our support for India becoming a member of APEC.”
The two leaders will attend signing of a series of Memorandums of Understanding tomorrow before H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee departs Papua New Guinea on Friday night.