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Papua New Guinea and the European Union will expand co-operation in the implementation of development projects, deepening of business and engagement on global environmental issues.
The commitment to further strengthen relations was made during a courtesy call to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill by European Union Ambassador to PNG Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos.
The ambassador, who is now beginning his third-year in PNG, also delivered a letter from the European council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker encouraging a deepening of co-operation.
“The European Union is an important development partner for Papua New Guinea and we value this relationship. This is an engagement for which we now commemorate 40 years through the Lome Convention with Europe,” O’Neill said.
“Development cooperation has strengthened a number of areas in Papua New Guinea, including enhancing environmental management, strengthening public financial practices and promoting of renewable energy.”
O’Neill said the European Union was encouraging European trade missions visiting PNG to promote increased commerce and investment.
“We will have a trade mission from Sweden coming into the country soon, and more to follow in the coming year,” he said.
“Increased people-to-people contact, particularly with high-level business people, highlights the investment potential of Papua New Guinea.
“There are many Europeans who are now beginning to find out about our country, and consuming our fish and other exports.
“We will continue to grow the European market for Papua New Guinea products.”
O’Neill said leaders and officials from PNG would also continue to work with the European counterparts on global environmental issues including climate change and the sustainable management of ocean resources.
“Europe has a clear interest in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and we will ensure that we work together in international forums to promote sustainability,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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