Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has told American government officials and the business sector that Pacific Island nations were not there in the United States to ask for Aid and grant but to negotiate for better business opportunities for themselves.
Prime Minister Marape, who was the spokesperson for the Pacific Island nations, was speaking at a meeting hosted by the US Treasury Department and Business Council for International Understanding.
The Prime Minister stressed once more the importance of the combined air and water space that Pacific people possess and the opportunities that this presents.
“Our combined Pacific air and water space is almost 30 percent of the Earth’s surface while our ocean holds substantial marine resources. Likewise, our forests and land hold rich bio-diversity, minerals and other resources while our island communities are places of huge cultural diversity,” he said.
“This is why we need genuine businesses to take up residency in the Pacific.
“We want to process our fish, coffee, cocoa, copra, timber, and minerals into finished products and sell to markets in the United States, or together we can sell to the Asian market place.”
The Prime Minister went further by inviting American companies to venture into the Pacific to join the world’s four leading companies in mining, and oil & gas – Newmont, Barrick, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies – who are already in Papua New Guinea.
He said the presence of these companies demonstrates the reliability of PNG and the Pacific as investment destinations.
“We do not want aid and grant but we need investors to partner our local companies in businesses. We also want more tourists to visit the Pacific, and we want our students to have the opportunity to study and work in USA.”
In discussing Climate Change issues, the Prime Minister has asked for a review of the structure of the international financial architecture so that victims of Climate Change such as Pacific Island nations, who hold big carbon sinks in their forests and oceans, could be compensated and are able to access low-cost infrastructure financing and the Green Climate Fund.
US Treasury Secretary J Yellen affirmed President Joe Biden’s call to support Pacific nations better in their economic and environmental resilience endeavors.
Dr Kurt Campbell, Senior White House Adviser for the Pacific, has been tasked to rally financial institutions, banks and private businesses to assist PNG and Pacific in their aspirations and needs.
The meeting was attended by senior United States officials and big businesses including Google while PNG’s Treasurer Hon. Ian Ling-Stucky and his officials joined Pacific Island leaders and officials for this important side meeting.