WELLINGTON, Jul 15, 2021, NZH. The prime ministers of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have signed an agreement to build a more collaborative connection, New Zealand Herald reported.
In a virtual meeting, the leaders signed a Statement of Partnership, renewing efforts to work through issues of trade and economy during the pandemic, as well as regional solidarity.
PNG Prime Minister James Marape said New Zealand and Australia must step up to help minimise the impact of Covid-19 on Pacific economies.
“As I have stated to the Japanese Prime Minister at a recent meeting, and again at the recent Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting, we would like to call on these bigger countries to step in and intervene, create [an] ‘economic bubble’ or put in similar measures to assist these smaller economies.
“Many of us are really stuck. Fiji, for example, which survives on tourism dollars. For us, Covid-19 is not just a health issue; it is also an economic issue as well,” Marape explained.
Ardern sounded a receptive tone, saying the new Statement of Partnership reflected the importance that New Zealand placed on close economic, cultural and people-to-people links with PNG.