China has offered to assist Papua New Guinea in its modernisation, urbanisation, and industrialisation efforts.
China’s President Xi Jinping during a meeting with Prime Minister James Marape at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing told Marape of the assistance.
China will provide Chinese state enterprises to develop downstream processing facilities for fisheries, forestry and coffee.
It will also be providing RMB100 million (K50.53 million) for projects under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The two leaders also discussed climate change, solar energy, health and education.
Xi acknowledged that PNG was one of the first Pacific Island countries to sign the Belt and Road Initiative five years ago. Through it, China delivered projects such as the Independence Boulevard and Butuka Academy in Port Moresby.
Projects yet to be concluded include the certificate for the Western Pacific University, direct air services from mainland China to Port Moresby, reciprocal visa waiver, currency settlement, and university collaboration.
Marape shared with Xi discussions he had with the chief executives officers of Hong Kong businesses, Chinese and Asian investors at the PNG-Asia Investment Conference.
Marape also brought up the challenges faced by Pacific economies caused by climate change and rising sea levels.
He requested China on behalf of the other 14 Pacific Island Forum countries to provide desalination plants for fresh water, solar energy, health and education and to buy marine resources.
Marape spoke of PNG’s vast land area and its potential to export food to China, plus clean and geothermal energy.
Marape said the Belt and Road Initiative on road infrastructure connectivity “enables us to move into a shared future through food and energy security”.
Marape told Xi that PNG had paid its membership to the Asia Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) and was now in the process of finalising the Instrument of Accession to ensure it benefited from the resources envelope on offer by the bank.
Marape also informed of the establishment of the Bank of China Branch in PNG and the use of Chinese Reminbi as a currency for trade and Kina convertibility, given that China imported more from PNG.
Marape also informed Xi that he had invited premier Li Qiang to visit PNG to consolidate relations and outstanding bilateral arrangements.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS