September 25, 2018

Russia focus on PNG APEC

Russia focus on PNG APEC

Russia's Ambassador in Indonesia, Lyudmila Vorobieva, said fighting terrorism and prevention of climate change are top in her country's priorities list for the APEC world leaders' meeting in Port Moresby in November.

Presenting her letters of Credence to the Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae this week, Vorobieva, said Russia appreciates efforts undertaken by the PNG Government and the APEC 2018 PNG Co-ordination Authority in organizing the high level event.

She is confident that the summit will become a boost for mutually beneficial contacts between regional economies, and will demonstrate to the world the hospitality and uniqueness of PNG.

The Russia's delegation to the APEC, will be headed by Chairman of the Government of Russian Federation, His Excellency, Dmintry Medvedev.

NBC News
PNG Airline, Air Niugini to fly to China

PNG Airline, Air Niugini to fly to China

Papua New Guinea's National flag-carrier, Air Niugini is set to launch its first direct flight to China next month.

China's Xinhua News reports Air Niugini's Chief Executive Officer, Tahawar Durrani, saying tickets are already open for bookings from this week.

The flight will depart Port Moresby for China's financial hub of Shanghai.

Set to be a boom for the PNG economy, the news comes as the country prepares to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.

Minister Responsible for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko, recently said the government is looking to do all it can during this time to boost the tourism sector and showcase the county's immense natural beauty.

Looking to attract vast numbers of Chinese travelers PNG's most recent move was to relax many visa restrictions for Chinese visitors.

Australia eyes Naval base in PNG's Manus Island

Australia eyes Naval base in PNG's Manus Island

A report by The Australian news paper said Papua New Guinea is working on plans with Australia to develop a joint naval base on Manus Island, to edge out China's interest in the strategically vital port with a new facility that would be capable of hosting Australian and US warships.

The newspaper said it understands, former Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter O’Neill discussed the proposed defence partnership at a July 11 meeting in Brisbane ahead of this year’s third State of Origin match.

The Australian reports Mr O’Neill as “very interested” in working with Australia to redevelop the Lombrum Naval Base as a joint facility, prompting a scoping mission by Australian defence officials.

Mr O'Neill was was briefed on the results of the scoping study, and later wrote to Mr Turnbull to formally express his support for the project.

The Turnbull government had hoped to finalize arrangements for the investment before the APEC meeting, which will be preceded by a special summit for Pacific leaders in Port Moresby hosted by China’s President Xi Jinping.

Australian officials have expressed concerns over Chinese interest in the redevelopment of four PNG ports, at Wewak, Kikori, Vanimo and Manus Island, fearing the Asian super power is working towards gaining a military foothold in the region.

The deep-water port at Manus is considered the most strategic ally significant of the four because of its sweeping command of the Pacific Ocean and the maritime approaches from Asia.

The newspaper said, Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, declined to comment on the proposed joint facility, but said Australia was in frequent contact with PNG officials regarding their development priorities.

The Lombrum Naval Base has long been the site of close co- operation between Australia and the PNG Defence Force.

Australia operated the base from 1950 until it was handed back to PNG at independence in 1975.

NBC News- The Australian