President Jokowi Attends First Business Forum of Indonesia-Papua New Guinea
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attended the first business forum meeting between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) held at the APEC Haus in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday (05/07/2023).
In his remarks, the Head of State encouraged discussions on the Indonesia-PNG Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.
“PNG and Indonesia are economic giants in their respective regions. PNG in the Pacific and Indonesia in Southeast Asia. It can be imagined that if these two potentials are combined, it will have a significant impact, not only on the people of both countries but also on the region,” said the President.
In addition, President Jokowi also stated that Indonesia would support the Connect PNG Program, including through Indonesian construction state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that have experience in several countries. The President mentioned that infrastructure and connectivity are the main requirements for sustainable economic growth.
“We continue to develop connectivity through the opening of the PNG Express shipping route and the Denpasar-Port Moresby flight route,” the President explained.
During the meeting, the President also emphasized that Indonesia and PNG have significant economic potential, with a border between the two countries spanning over 800 km. In fact, based on data from Pos Skouw, trade exceeded USD 3 million back in 2019.
“We need to maximize this. We need to turn the border points into centers for new economic activities. This will have a significant impact not only on the border communities but also on the economies of both countries,” said the President.
“I believe that the closeness of Indonesia and PNG will be further strengthened through concrete economic cooperation,” the President concluded.
On this occasion, President Jokowi also symbolically witnessed the presentation of a Citilink aircraft miniature to representatives of the business forum participants as a sign of the launch an inaugural flight of the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s low-cost subsidiary, Citilink, on the Denpasar-Port Moresby route. (BPMI Presidential Secretariat/AIT) (AS/MUR)