Papua New Guinea’s strong and robust bilateral relationship with China over the past 45 years should grow and prosper in coming years.
This was the view of the leader of the National Alliance Party, Patrick Pruaitch, and China’s new Ambassador to PNG, His Excellency Zeng Fanhua, when they met in Port Moresby on Wednesday.
In line with the long-held PNG and NA policy of, ‘friends to all and enemies to none’, Mr Pruaitch expressed support for China’s multi-billion dollar ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative as an avenue for regional prosperity and for enhancement of PNG’s relations with China and the entire Asian region.
Mr Pruaitch acknowledged that investment by a Chinese Provincial Government contributed to development prospects of the Frieda River copper-gold project, in Sandaun Province.
He expressed concern the deposit, first discovered in the 1960s, has yet to commence development.
The NA Leader said: “The National Alliance Party is fully supportive of private sector investments from China and other countries in PNG’s natural resources, along with investment in other economic sectors, including agriculture and infrastructure.
“As the world’s second largest economy, China has been the biggest contributor to global economic growth and last year our close neighbours, the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), became the largest trading bloc with China, ahead of the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea.
“An active PNG role in trade and investment in the world’s fastest growing region is a key to enhanced economic growth in PNG and this swill contribute to higher levels of prosperity for the people of PNG,” he said.
Mr Pruaitch expressed his thanks to Ambassador Fanhua for China’s support in assisting PNG manage the Covid-19 pandemic through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) and donation of vaccines.
While raising concerns regarding the PNG’s law and order, the newly arrived Chinese Ambassador to PNG told Mr Pruaitch that China wished to see bilateral relationships grow further. He believed PNG needed partners to develop its mineral and petroleum sectors in view of PNG’s well-known resources wealth.