PORT MORESBY, Feb 20, 2020, PNG Today. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is leaving the country today for a four-day official State Visit to New Zealand, PNG Today reported.
“Today I announce my departure for a formal State visit to New Zealand, traveling through Fiji for a meeting with Pacific Island Leaders and the President of Israel.
“The meeting with Israel President HE Reuven Rivlin will take place on 20th of February and on 21st of February I will be received by Prime Minister Hon. Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand for my four-day work visit.
“Israel is a nation whose success amidst historic and its present challenges are noteworthy and our nation’s subscription to Judeo Christian values require our Government to meet with President Rivlin
and convey to Government and people of Israel; the Marape-Steven Government’s intention to rebuild relationship with the State of Israel.
“My visit to New Zealand is in order and to firstly thank them personally for being a genuine friend of PNG. Recently, the New Zealand Government assisted by evacuating our PNG students from China to New Zealand due to the coronavirus.
“In this visit, we hope to elevate and consolidate our bilateral relationship with New Zealand. New Zealand is a first world country in our Pacific neighbourhood who has built its economy purely based of agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
“The New Zealand’s Public Service is the most effective and efficient that I’ve known off and that is why I am taking Governor Hon. Gary Juffa, who is the Parliamentary Committee Chairman on Public Service Reform, to establish link to study and model our Public Service similar to New Zealand.
“Next Thursday, I will take a delegation across to Solomon Islands on a State visit. The country of Solomon Islands is our immediate brother nation and our continual friendship with them on person to person, business to business and government to government relationships is important.
“Sometimes this year, I will visit Indonesia and Philippines that should conclude the five nations closest to home that I want PNG to have greater trade and economic relationships with.
“So on foreign relations, the PNG Government wants to build warm relationship with our closest neighbours in trade and commerce and not only on political level. Australia and New Zealand are world class economies; Indonesia has 260 million consumers for food and energy, likewise the Republic of Philippines that has 110 million people and both are solid economies that PNG can trade with.
“I will later in the year be guest to Rawanda, China and USA to further strengthening of bilateral relationship with these nations. I will also be attending the United Nations meeting and APEC 2020 this year,” the Prime Minister said.