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China to assist PNG to host APEC summit

China has pledged its full support to see Papua New Guinea host a successful APEC Leaders’ Summit in November.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Rimbink Pato confirmed this in Beijing following his meeting with his Chinese counterpart and State Councillor Wang Yi last Friday.

Pato told Post-Courier that following the meeting with Wang Yi, they have talked about establishing a free trade agreement between the two countries.

He said China has agreed to the deal and will do a feasibility study.

“The plans of the feasibility and a way forward memorandum of understanding will be signed between President Xi Jingping and our government and the Prime Minister when he comes to PNG for APEC in November.

“We have also discussed the Chinese president Xi Jingping’s visit to PNG and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will come to prepare the way and he is arriving in October upon my invitation,” he said.

Pato said apart from APEC they have also discussed areas of national interests including a visa fee waiver for government officials and diplomats in China and PNG.

He said they had also discussed with Wang if the Chinese Government could facilitate the early landing of Air Niugini’s direct flights into Shanghai.

“This in regards to the direct flights which I have written to him in the past about and if there is a possibility of code sharing of any of the airlines as there are so many of them. We need to look at the economics of it straight away.

“We have also talked about some of the key natural projects like the Frieda gold mine and some agricultural projects in the West Sepik province including other projects that are under the Chinese bilateral aid program,” Pato said.

He alluded to the US-China trade war stating that PNG was an anti-protectionism area free from free trade liberalisation, meaning PNG was free to trade globally.

As a result, he said PNG will not be impacted by this trade war.

“We are for multilateral framework to support the World Trade Organisation.

“We want to explore all opportunities of partnership between the two countries.

“One of the key underlying conversations is that we have connect with all parts of China and of course PNG has to uphold the one China policy,” he said.

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