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Australian consul set to work in PNG's city of Lae

THE newly appointed Lae based Australian Consul General Paul Murphy is looking forward to working with the Lae business community, in Papua New Guinea, the Post Courier reports. A statement from the office of Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop announced the plan to establish a Consulate General in Lae in March 2016.

 “Lae is the commercial capital of PNG and is home to the largest transshipment facility in the country,” Mr Murphy said. He said because Lae is the gateway that connects the New Guinea Islands, the coastal and highlands regions, the office aims to strengthen the growing trade and investment relationship between PNG and Australia. “We at the consulate will also be working to reinforce Australia’s capacity to oversee all investments in the Morobe Province,” Mr Murphy said. “I am proud of the contributions of the Australian government in various sectors of the PNG economy including business, trade, agriculture and research.” In an interview with Post-Courier, Mr Murphy said the office would be an extension of some of the services provided by the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

“We are like a shop front. All Australian citizens who are here in Lae or other regions nearby can now access whatever services that they require right here in Lae rather than having to travel to Port Moresby,” Mr Murphy said. He said the decision to open the consulate clearly reflects the prominence of Lae among the Australian government and its political leaders. The temporary office opened this Monday and is located at the Lae International Hotel. “We aim for the full office to be opened in mid-2017,” he said. The consulate in Lae is one of 102 Australian diplomatic missions around the globe. Post Courier/ PNG Today
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