PM Marape announces French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to PNG on 28 July

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, James Marape, announced Monday that French President, Emmanuel Macron, will undertake a one-day visit to Papua New Guinea on Friday, 28 July 2023.

Prime Minister Marape extended the invitation to President Macron during a meeting held in Port Moresby on 05 June 2023, with Walid Fouque, Special Advisor for Asia and the Pacific to President Macron.

President Macron and Prime Minister Marape have previously met on the sidelines of the One Forest Summit in Gabon, Central Africa, in March of this year, as well as during APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, where President Macron attended as an invited guest.

President Macron is scheduled to arrive in Port Moresby at 11am on Friday, 28 July 2023, and depart at 5pm on the same day. The itinerary for the visit includes a courtesy call on Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae, a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Marape, followed by a bilateral meeting and the signing of various agreements.

Prime Minister Marape emphasised the significance of President Macron’s visit in strengthening bilateral relations between France and Papua New Guinea.

“Under my leadership, France and PNG have been actively enhancing our bilateral relationship, along with other nations,” said Prime Minister Marape.

“I appreciate President Macron’s commitment, as demonstrated by his decision to visit PNG and engage in discussions on matters of mutual interest between our countries.”

President Macron’s visit comes on the eve of the final investment decision (FID) by French super-major TotalEnergies on the Papua LNG Project, demonstrating France’s increased investment in Papua New Guinea. TotalEnergies is also involved in downstream processing of natural resources such as forests.

“In the midst of the evolving geopolitical landscape in the region, Papua New Guinea serves as ‘neutral ground,’ and I will urge France to consider PNG’s strategic position amidst the changing regional dynamics,” Prime Minister Marape added.

“The visit of President Macron to PNG will further solidify the growing cooperation and shared goals between our two nations, particularly in the areas of forest conservation, French investments in PNG such as TotalEnergies, mobilising resources to support small Pacific Island countries and communities, and other relevant matters,” he said.

SOURCE: PNG GOVT/PACNEWS