Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has this morning welcomed to the country H.E Satu Mattila-Budich, the Ambassador-designate of the Republic of Finland to Papua New Guinea.
Her Excellency, Mrs Mattila-Budich was introduced to the Prime Minister at his Sir Manasupe House Office, as PM Marape took the opportunity to invite Finnish investments into the country and highlight PNG’s proximity to the huge, flourishing markets of Asia.
Prime Minister Marape pointed out to the Ambassador-designate investment opportunities in the resource sectors of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Green Energy, Information Technology, Telecommunications and Manufacturing.
He said: “I welcome and congratulate you as you take up your appointment as the Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to PNG. We look forward to working closely with you during your tour of duty.
“Papua New Guinea is a leader among the small island nations of the Pacific. We have a robust democracy and a strong cultural affinity to Asia.
“Over the years, we have developed strong relations with nearly all countries of Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, India, South Korea, and China.
“Our Foreign policy is defined by our philosophy to be a ‘Friend to All and Enemy to None’ because we ourselves are a nation of huge diversities. So we tolerate diversity.
“In the area of Agriculture, we have a great deal of arable land with produce that are still very much organic.
“I invite businesses and companies from your country to ours, whether your businesses want to partner with our State-owned companies, with other businesses in our private sector, or set up on their own; the opportunities are here.
“There is now a direct trade route from Papua New Guinea to Asia and I invite Finland to capitalize on this opportunity.
“China, for example, has a huge market on its own with nearly 1.5 billion people; India with over 1.4 billion; and Indonesia with over 273 million; while the total Asian market is nearly 5 billion people.”
Papua New Guinea and Finland formally established diplomatic ties on 25 August 1977 at a non-resident ambassadorial level.
Although trade and economic activities have been small between the two countries with volume of trade in Finland’s favour since 2015, PM Marape is keen on increasing this with the new post being taken up by Mrs Mattila-Budich.
In regional matters, Finland has been supportive of Climate Change efforts in the South Pacific with the establishment of the Finnish-Pacific Project through the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SHREP).