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PNG to swift from traditional Partners, says Prime Minister Marape

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says while the age-old foreign policy of PNG of being friends to all, enemies to none will be maintained, he intends to shift his focus away from the country's traditional partners.

Australia and New Zealand have been PNG's traditional aid partners.

Much more recently, China has had a growing influence in the country as well as in the entire Pacific.

Responding to questions from journalists, Mr Marape says his government will now move on to consider more stronger partnerships with Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.

Mr Marape says foreign policy is not about politics anymore but about trade and commerce which PNG must capitalize on.

"We are a free country. If we engage with the Chinese government so long as it is fair to us in our terms we are happy just like any other engagements.

"We still maintain our foreign policy as friends to all and enemies to none.

"That's the way we will be, whether it be the Chinese or Australia or New Zealand, Indonesia or the Philippines.

"I intend to maximize foreign relations in the economies around us.

"Foreign relations is not about politics anymore. Its about trade and commerce.

"So I intend to look at Indonesia in a bigger way, I intend to look at Phlippines in a bigger way, look at Malyasia and Singapore in a bigger way.

"I will shift away from traditional partners, and reliance on traditional partners.

"For us it would be more on commerce and the economy."

NBC News/PNG Today

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PNG Prime Minister Marape wants Australian Aid in government priorities

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