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Australia, PNG to forge economic ties

An agreement to expand Australia’s relationship with PNG from development assistance to economic cooperation has been approved by the Treaties Committee today.

The Committee’s review of the Treaty on Economic Cooperation between the Government of Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea is contained in its Report 143, tabled today in Parliament.

“Two-way trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea is worth nearly $6bn a year, and Australian investment is worth more than $19bn – equal to Australian investment in China,” said Committee Chair, Mr Wyatt Roy MP.

The agreement sets out a framework for bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, business relations and development cooperation obligations to support bilateral economic relations;

The proposed treaty changes the focus of the relationship from development to economic cooperation and explicitly articulates a shared commitment to the prevention and detection of fraud.

“The treaty will continue to govern the development relationship, but PNG’s economy has been growing for 10 years now and is expected to continue growing into the future,” Mr Roy said. “It’s time for our bilateral relationship to reflect this positive and prosperous reality.”

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