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By RINU SHYYAM
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) High Commission celebrated its country’s 37th independence day on Friday at the Hotel Novotel Suva Lami Bay .
During the celebrations PNG’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Peter Eafeare said PNG would remain a close friend of Fiji.
“PNG will remain a close friend of Fiji, come what may, as our historical bonds and present engagements are paving the way for a stronger and prosperous future that would go from strength to strength in the years to come, to our mutual benefit”.
Mr Eafeare said that the two countries needed to build a relationship to further their trade along with economic and commercial relations so that an increasing number of businesses are able to invest in each other’s countries.
“The recent purchase of the Pearl Resort and accompanying facilities is testimony to the growing determination by PNG business to collaborate with their Fijian counterparts to build a firm economic, commercial, cultural and social foundation on the already strong political and diplomatic foundation we have.”
“Fijians are now flocking in big numbers to Papua New Guinea for employment. With the onset of the LNG project and other economic activities Fijian companies are also moving into the Papua New Guinea market.”
Mr Eafeare also said the Government was presently working on ensuring that there was greater facilitation of movements by PNG, especially in the areas of medium to long term employment.
‘On the other hand, BSP and Credit Corporation continue to thrive in their respective markets and I am confident that they will provide the “lure” for more PNG and Fiji companies and individuals to explore opportunities.”
Mr Eafeare added that PNG is encouraged with the progress achieved thus far with the voter registration going well, the establishment of the Constitution Commission and the fact that public dialogues are being held in relation to the type of Constitution the people want to have.
“PNG Prime Minister has said that his government is committed to seeing Fiji return to parliamentary democracy and will do everything within its means to assist Fiji achieve that, come 2014. As part of that commitment and as a close friend, PNG will be hosting a Special PACP Leaders meeting later this year, to specifically deal with Fiji’s participation at the highest political level, when required, in PACP meetings.”