Prime Minister Welcomes Bangladesh High Commissioner on Maiden Visit to PNG

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Thursday, May 16, 2024, extended a warm welcome to the High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Mr. Tarukil Islam, upon his maiden visit to PNG.

Prime Minister Marape, in meeting him at Sir Manasupe Haus, congratulated High Commissioner Islam upon his new appointment and affirmed the PNG Government’s eagerness to work closely with him to further strengthen the cordial relations between the two countries.

“A warm welcome to you, High Commissioner Islam. This meeting is important for us as since our diplomatic ties were forged in 1982, our relations have been friendly, and so we need to strengthen this through greater cooperation activities between us. I hope you will further strengthen the efforts of your predecessor to consolidate in a practical way the relations between our two nations,” said Prime Minister Marape.

“Our government’s intention is to explore mutual areas of cooperation to strengthen the bilateral relations between us. I am glad to say that our relations have been strong in recent years in the areas of employment and business investment, where a good number of Bangladeshi workers came and worked here in the ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG Project, particularly during the construction phase, and the number continues. There are also notable Bangladeshi businesses operating in PNG, especially in the service sector, which have provided job opportunities for Papua New Guineans. And so, there is enormous potential in enhancing this through greater cooperation in the economic sectors of both of our countries. There is also potential for us to strengthen our trade relations,” said Prime Minister Marape.

Prime Minister Marape also pointed out and encouraged the need for regular and increased exchanges of high-level visits between political leaders and senior officials of both countries, which would positively contribute towards promoting goodwill, better understanding, and cooperation between the two countries.

“My government is prepared to provide land for you to establish your High Commission office here to enable closer and greater cooperation between us, and I hope we will do the same in your country. This can be from an economic point of view where I specifically note your thriving textile industry in which I invite investors from Bangladesh here in this space.

“There are great opportunities here for your businesses not just in textile but also in agriculture, mining and petroleum, forestry, and fisheries on a joint venture basis with local entrepreneurs,” he added.

Prime Minister Marape emphasised his government’s plans to strengthen relations with countries located directly west of Papua New Guinea in the South-East Asian region, in which Bangladesh is also included.

High Commissioner Islam expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Marape’s warm welcome. He welcomed the proposition by the PNG Government on regular dialogue and exchange visits between the two countries’ Governments to enhance relations between them.

He also highlighted Bangladesh’s key areas of focus in the economic sector, which the country can assist PNG with. These include agriculture, information technology, education, and training. During the discussions with Prime Minister Marape, High Commissioner Islam mentioned their need for LNG Gas, which PNG can supply through its hydrocarbon potential, given that Bangladesh can produce ships which can load LNG Gas for their use in industry and residential areas.

The courtesy call was witnessed by Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko and officials from both countries’ diplomatic offices.