Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. James Marape presented a reciprocal visa waiver agreement between China and Papua New Guinea to Parliament on Thursday, June 15, 2023, for ratification. The agreement received unanimous support from Parliament, reflecting the shared commitment to strengthening bilateral relations.
The visa waiver agreement aims to facilitate travel for holders of official and diplomatic passports between China and Papua New Guinea by enabling visa issuance upon arrival. Prime Minister Marape highlighted that this agreement will allow diplomatic and official passport holders from both countries to travel seamlessly for a specified period, fostering closer government-to-government ties.
“This reciprocal visa waiver agreement is a significant step towards enhancing business and tourism potential between China and Papua New Guinea,” stated PM Marape.
“Furthermore, it will streamline travel arrangements for state and official representatives, facilitating their important duties.”
In addition to promoting economic and diplomatic ties, the Prime Minister emphasised the convenience this agreement will bring to travellers. “This visa waiver arrangement will alleviate the travel preparation burden, benefiting not only government officials but also individuals engaged in trade and tourism between our nations,” he explained.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the efforts of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, for his role in advancing visa agreements, including those with China and Indonesia. PM Marape expressed gratitude for the swift action taken to bring these agreements to Parliament, ensuring their timely implementation.
Once ratified, this bilateral visa waiver agreement will mark a significant milestone in the relationship between China and Papua New Guinea, strengthening cooperation and fostering greater understanding between the two nations.