The new Peoples Republic of China (PRC) Resident Ambassador to PNG His Excellency Mr. Zeng Fanhua this morning paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister James Marape during which they discussed bilateral and development cooperation issues of mutual interest.
Ambassador Fanhua in his opening remarks conveyed greetings from President Xi Jinping and stated at the outset that he was deeply honored to represent his country and hoped that his tour of duty here will lead to further enhancement of bilateral ties between PNG and PRC.
He informed the Prime Minister Marape about new measures that China has put in place to support Papua New Guinea’s fight against COVID-19 and for the development of the economic and social sectors.
H.E Fanhua added that the speech that was delivered by Prime Minister Marape two weeks ago was well received by the Chinese audience.
He also took the opportunity to make mention of Foreign Minister Hon. Soroi Eoe’s Visit to China which took place last week at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister as both significant and timely.
Ambassador Fanhua said the Visit by Foreign Minister Eoe now sets the ground work for Prime Minister Marape’s Visit to China in the near future. Discussion on the future levels and forms of development assistance from the Chinese Government will be announced by Foreign Minister Eoe as soon as he returns from China with his delegation.
Ambassador Fanhua said his immediate task will be to work on completion of the Taurama Military Hospital as well as the coordination and delivery of the Chinese vaccines and last but not the least Free Trade Agreement between PNG and China.
Prime Minister Marape, in his response, welcomed Ambassador Fanhua and assured him of his government’s support to ensure his tour of duty in PNG is a success. He reaffirmed that PRC is a great friend and an important development partner to PNG since diplomatic ties were formalized in 1976.
He added that PNG has always strictly adhered to and maintained the One China Policy.
“With regards to PNG’s own foreign Policy of Friends to all and enemies to none he said this has worked well for PNG in terms of dealing with global issues and super power rivalry among others,” the Prime Minister said.
In terms of Trade and Investment, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged that China has a huge market for PNG to export products such as agriculture, forestry, marine and fishery to the Chinese market and we will continue to exploit those opportunities.
Prime Minister took the opportunity to request for Chinese investors and companies to consider investing in the Special Economic Zone in PNG to add value and export from the Special Economies which offers trade and export concessions and incentives.
Aside from that Prime Minister Marape also requested for China to partner with PNG in the Papua LNG Project as well as broadly in the Petrochemical space which offers win-win benefits for all stakeholders.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Fanhua said he looks forward to his tour of duty here and is optimistic that both countries can work together on new areas of cooperation, which will be made clear once Foreign Minister Hon. Soroi Eoe and his delegation return from his official visit to China.