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Establishing relations with development partners remains a priority for Bougainville to increase economic and infrastructural development in the Region.
President Ishmael Toroama met with several important development partners during his first official visit to Port Moresby last week.
The meeting was to strengthen relations as well as to familiarise the new President with the respective foreign missions who play an important role as Bougainville’s development partners.
In meeting the head of missions in PNG, President Toroama said that these missions expressed an interest to continue to assist Bougainville.
The President said that for Bougainville to establish relations with development partners it would maintain these relations through the parameters of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
The focus of these relationships will be on development aid and not on furthering Bougainville’s political aspirations.
President Toroama met with the U.S Ambassador Erin Elizabeth Mckee, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing, European Union Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos, and the Japanese diplomatic staff as the Ambassador Kuniyuki Nakahara was in isolation.
“I am more than convinced of the need for an overall aid coordination strategy within which Bougainville’s donor priorities will be articulated,” President Toroama said.
“Such an aid strategy must be rooted to my six-point strategy on Bougainville’s development and political journey,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Autonomous Bougainville Government continues to make headway with its first 100 days plan in the economic and development sectors as well as progressing inter-government relations with the National Government.
President Ishmael Toroama’s overarching theme for the new government’s first 100 days is Innovation and Change and focuses on revitalising the ABG’s key development sectors to raise revenue and steady the ABG’s course on the Post Referendum Consultations.
In a statement to the ABG Parliament Tuesday, President Toroama revealed that his meeting with the Prime Minister James Marape for the Pre-JSB Meeting last week yielded success.
“Both the Prime Minister and I reaffirmed our commitment to the ongoing peace process and the need for constructive dialogue,” President Toroama said.
“We discusses issues from past JSB Meetings including drawdown of powers, intergovernmental financing arrangements, transfer of the National Government shareholding in Bougainville Copper Limited and the Prime Minister’s commitment on a one-line budget for the ABG,” President Toroama added.
The President also revealed that his inaugural trip to Port Moresby allowed him to meet with Bougainville’s development partners as well as diplomatic missions in PNG and the PNG Ombudsman Commission.
“There is much to be done especially on the political and economic fronts, the Bougainville Executive Council must remain cohesive as we plan and reorganize ourselves to meet with our PNG counterparts,” President Toroama said.
“I expect all ministers and the bureaucracy to support the initiatives I undertake in better organizing and moving Bougainville forward,” the President added.
“As we move forward I wish to remind this house and the administration of the important six-point strategy in moving Bougainville forward,” he said.
President Toroama said that these strategies will not have much impact without the people taking ownership of them through maintaining law and order.
The President also presented an overview of several key economic achievements the government has successfully implemented; these include the reconciliation of the landowners from the Manetai Limestone Project area, Tonolei Integrated Forestry and Agriculture Project and the Bana Special Economic Zone Project.
The first 100 Days of the fourth ABG House of Representatives ends on 06 January 2021.
SOURCE: ABG GOVT/PACNEWS
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