Prime Minister and Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. James Marape says relations between Republic of Korea and Papua New Guinea are “very important”.

He said this was exemplified by trade between the two countries worth worth US$1.8 billion (K6.33 billion) in 2022, a massive 240 per cent increase from 2021.

PM Marape confirmed that he would attend the first Korea-Pacific Islands Summit in Seoul later this month, to discuss issues of climate change as well as furthering bilateral relations. He pledged PNG’s support to host World Expo2030 in Busan.

PM Marape said this after a high-level meeting with Members of the Republic of Korea Assembly in Port Moresby on Friday (May 12, 2023). The delegation was led by Chairman of Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee Kim Tae Ho, and comprised of Vice-Chairperson Lee Jae Jung and committee members Cheol Soo and Woo Sangho.

“At the end of this month, I will visit Korea’s lovely capital, Seoul, with other Pacific leaders,” he said.

“I am happy that this delegation has visited our country, and will reciprocate with a visit to their country, to further strengthen our relations.”

PM Marape said the big increase in trade between Korea and PNG had not gone unnoticed by his Government, and there was room for even more growth.

“I want to offer PNG as an investment destination for Korean companies, as well as for our producers to export to Korea’s markets,” he said.

“We have energy sources; we have raw materials. My Government is pushing for downstream processing and we invite companies in relevant industries in Korea to come into our Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

“Our GDP (gross domestic product) is well-placed to expand rapidly in the next 10 to 15 years, based on the resources we have, so we are inviting companies from friends of PNG – including Korea – to come and do business here.”

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