The Prime Minister, James Marape MP, has held fruitful discussions with the outgoing South Korean Ambassador to PNG, H.E Mr Kym-Gu Kang at his Office at the Sir Manasupe Haus in Port Moresby on Tuesday.
Ambassador Kang will be leaving the shores of Papua New Guinea this Saturday for Seoul, South Korea after serving his country for four good years.
Papua New Guinea was Ambassador Kym-Gu’s first posting as a Diplomat and has served his country well ensuring the bilateral relationship between PNG and South Korea remained cordial as well as progress in trade and investment links.
South Korea just like PNG as a developing country went from nothing to now the 10th fastest growing and largest economy in the world.
PM Marape noted that South Korea has invested heavily in human resources and is now one of the major producers of electronic goods and a leader on its own right in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sector, which PNG can learn and benefit from.
PM Marape has informed Ambassador Kang Kym-Gu that Koreans love and favor coffee and PNG produces good coffee.
“Ambassador there is the possibility of we PNG exporting our coffee both processed and raw coffee beans to Korea and Korean investors can come and invest in downstream processing of our coffee in PNG.
“PNG is opening up a few Special Economic Zones and our Government want Korean investors to invest in PNG as it also offers tax exemptions to promote trade and investment.
“Ambassador on that note I also want to inform you of my Government’s wish and intention for South Korea to have a permanent Embassy based here at the Waigani center of government and business.
“A land will be identified and made available to your South Korean Government to build your own Embassy building here at Waigani closer to Central Government as other countries PNG has diplomatic and bilateral relations are housed,” said PM Marape.
He also informed the outgoing Ambassador that he is in receipt of an invitation for an Official State Visit to Seoul from President Moon Jae-in’s Government and is looking forward to it some this year at the timing of the Korean Government.
“I couldn’t make an official visit earlier this year due to the fact that the COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted businesses including airlines and placed travel restrictions and has affected us all. We are looking forward to the visit any time soon this year when arrangements on both sides of our governments are finalized following strict COVID-19 protocols.
PM Marape said PNG stands ready to learn a lot from countries like South Korea that have nothing and or less resources and came through as the fastest developing 10th largest economy in the world.
He also acknowledged and thanked the South Korean Government for the work and support it lends to PNG through its Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), which also supports the peace building work in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville amongst many other areas including trade and investment and education.
PNG has many resources like gold, oil and gas, coffee, copra, cocoa and the rich flora and fauna, which countries like South Korea could invest in including other APEC member countries.
Papua New Guinea also produces up to 20-30 per cent of the world tuna supply to European and Asian markets, which includes the Republic of Korea.