Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have signed a memorandum of understanding on immigration and border security cooperation.

It was signed by chief migration officer Stanis Hulahau and the Solomon Islands permanent secretary for foreign affairs and external trade Collin Beck in Port Moresby on Monday.

“This partnership with the Solomon Islands Immigration is significant and would pave the way for closer working relationship,” Hulahau said

“Covering areas such as capacity building, technical assistance and border security cooperation between the two sister agencies.”

“This bilateral agreement between ICSA (PNG Immigration) and SIID (Solomon Islands Immigration) can be a practical example to other immigration agencies in the region, particularly the Melanesian Spearhead Group member states.

“We have to work together to address concerns around travel and security within the region.

“At the same time, implementing some of the policies on trade-in-services within the MSG.” As part of the MoU, the ICSA will provide technical assistance to SI Immigration in processing athletes, heads of delegations and visitors from the participating countries in the 17th Pacific Games in Honiara this November.

Apart from the technical assistance, which includes the development of a travel app to process bulk visa applications, PNG ICSA will also assist its sister agency with promotional items and branding materials.

Hulahau said the assistance provided to the Solomon Islands Immigration was part of the Government’s commitment to support the Solomon Islands to host a safe and memorable games.