International Relations. Papua New Guinea press review

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Hon. James Marape took part in a virtual summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison to discuss areas of mutual interest on business, trade and investment. Mr Marape and Mr Morrison also discussed people-to-people institutional links, security, governance and development, and regional cooperation. The highlight of this virtual summit was the conclusion of the Comprehensive Strategic Economic Partnership (CSEP) to further enhance relations in the above areas. [1]

Prime Minister James Marape also noted that Australian government intervention in some key enabling infrastructures including the Coral Sea cable linking Australia, PNG the Solomon Islands are some of the benefits that have allowed both nations to have virtual meetings. «We are proceeding with the wonderful project of connecting 70% of people of PNG to electricity in partnership with Japan, New Zealand and the United States,» – Mr Marape added. Meanwhile, during the summit, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was signed by PNG Minister for High Education, Research, Science and Technology Nick Kuman and Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke. [2]

The first three Australian medical personnel arrived to help Papua New Guinea deal with the spike in the CVODI-19 cases. Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp said that the three included team leader and clinical management expert Dr Mark Little, a primary and emergency care nurse, and an expert clinical adviser. Australian doctors have to go through a 7-day quarantine before they can start their work. «If the virus continues to spread in PNG, there is a possibility to recommend a second larger AustMat team which could arrive in a number of weeks,» Mr Philip marked. [3]

However, PNG Defence Force Commander Major-General Gilbert Toropo says work on redeveloping the Lombrum Naval Base in Manus should not be interrupted if there are issues in the existing memorandum of understanding (MoU). Mr Toropo was responding to Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin who called on the Government to stop the redevelopment of the facility until the MoU was reviewed and a new one was set among the national and provincial governments and a proponent of the developer – either the Australian or the United States government. According to Mr Toropo, if there were anything missing or had been overlooked in the MoU between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the PNGDF, it should be addressed professionally in a roundtable discussion by stakeholders but stopping the progress of the work on the facility would be irresponsible. [4]

More than K700,000 worth of 4 tones medical equipment arrived in Port Moresby as part of a donation by Chinese business magnate Jack Ma through the Jack Ma Foundation. The cargo arrived to PNG on a Fiji Airways flight from Fiji. Ali Baba founder Jack Ma is providing PNG, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, New Caledonia and French Polynesia with PPEs for frontline health workers. In turn, PNG Health Minister Jelta Wong thanked the Jack Ma Foundation for the donation. [5] [1] https://www.thenational.com.pg/marape-morrison-to-talk-in-virtual-summit/
[2] https://www.thenational.com.pg/australia-png-sign-deals-for-strategic-economic-partnership/
[3] https://www.thenational.com.pg/experts-arrive-to-aid-png/
[4] https://www.thenational.com.pg/let-work-on-lombrum-continue-toropo-says/
[5] https://www.thenational.com.pg/medic-equipment-arrive/
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