International Relations. Papua New Guinea press review

The Australian High Commission announced a new partnership with the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) that will give PNG athletes world-class preparation in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in July 2021. Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp, made the announcement alongside PNGOC Secretary-General Auvita Rapilla. The $250,000 grant will assist PNGOC to: provide access to training camps in PNG and Australia that offer high-level facilities. And draw on Australia’s leading sports scientists to build capacity in PNG, and give financial support to athletes so they can focus on training to an Olympic standard. [1] On 22 June, Chinese businessman Chen Mailin and his associates arrived in Papua New Guinea by private jet. As Papua New Guinea media report, the team travelling under a privately-chartered London Air Service Limited flight defied the Immigration, Customs, Airport and COVID-19 protocols.

Controller David Manning said yesterday that the Chinese business tycoon and his associates’ arrival instruments into Papua New Guinea were done under very controlled protocols. This is despite the team having no visas on arrival and detained at the Jackson International Airport for two hours until instruments from the National Control Centre, specifically Controller Manning, exempting them from all the protocols into the country, including the 14-day quarantine.

According to Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape, the aircraft with 4 Chinese nationals onboard had complied with requirements before they were allowed to fly into Port Moresby. Moreover, the 4 Chinese Nationals were tested 14 days prior to their arrival, with the results negative allowing them to go under strict self-quarantine measures. Prime Minister Hon. James Marape also stated that at some point, the country needs to open its border to allow for business to operate normally and this would be the first step. The Prime Minister’s comments come after People’s National Congress Party (PNC) Leader and former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill called on Mr Marape to state clearly their business of travel and why the 14-day quarantine period did not apply to the 4 foreigners.

Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister of Papua New Guinea Wera Mori said that the Government will continue talks with Chinese businessman Chen Mailin in the hope he will solicit support for the country’s plan to engage in carbon trade with China. «We need a Chinese entrepreneur contact for possible engagements in carbon trade, » Mr Mori said and also added that Mr Chen was a businessman who was welcome to invest in PNG in accordance with its laws. [2-7]

133 citizens from Papua New Guinea have returned from the Philippines to the Jacksons International Airport in the PNG capital, Port Moresby. A PNG-funded Air Niugini flight from Port Moresby to Manila, flew on Sunday, 21 June, and 138 Filipino citizens also returned home. [8]

However, COVID-19 test mandatory for overseas inbound passengers arriving in Papua New Guinea. According to the PNG authorities, no person is permitted to board an aircraft bound for PNG unless they have been tested for COVID-19 within a 14-day period prior to boarding an aircraft and have returned a result indicating they do not have detectable levels of COVID-19. Police Commissioner and Controller David Manning issued this measure effective on the 20th of June 2020 (Saturday) after another case was confirmed in Port Moresby. According to Mr Manning, a person or organisation that allows a person to board an aircraft bound for PNG in breach of these measures shall be deemed to have committed an offence under the National Pandemic Act 2020. [9] [1] https://emtv.com.pg/australia-to-support-png-olympic-committee-with-grant-funding/
[2] https://postcourier.com.pg/arrival-of-chinese-business-tycoon-raises-questions/
[3] https://postcourier.com.pg/breach-of-immigration-customs-airport-and-covid-19-protocols/
[4] https://emtv.com.pg/pm-james-marape-the-aircraft-complied-with-quarantine-measures/
[5] https://postcourier.com.pg/mailin-here-to-help-tackle-environmental-issues-says-minister/
[6] https://postcourier.com.pg/approval-given-for-chinese-to-enter-png/
[7] https://www.thenational.com.pg/govt-chinese-businessman-to-hold-talks-over-carbon-trade/
[8] https://emtv.com.pg/133-stranded-png-citizens-in-philippines-returning-today/
[9] https://kalangfm.com/news/covid-19-test-mandatory-for-overseas-inbound-passengers-765
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