Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia during Joint Press Statement with Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, July 5, 2023
Your Majesty Prime Minister Marape, thank you for your warm welcome.
PNG is a close neighbor and strategic partner of Indonesia, and since Your Majesty’s visit last year, much progress has been achieved, including the signing and ratification of MoUs, as well as the initiation of activities at the border.
In our bilateral meeting earlier, we discussed several matters. Firstly, Indonesia is committed to enhancing cooperation with Pacific countries, including PNG, and we have agreed to formulate a five-year roadmap for development cooperation. Indonesia will also soon commence the renovation of hospital facilities in Port Moresby, the construction of firefighter stations, waste management in Vanimo, school construction in Wutung, and providing more scholarships for PNG students.
Secondly, economic cooperation. Indonesia-PNG trade saw a significant increase in 2022, reaching US$ 307 million. This needs to be further boosted by promoting the continuation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) discussions, establishing a Business Council, trade and investment missions, and involving Indonesian state-owned enterprises in road construction projects in PNG.
Thirdly, connectivity and border matters. I welcome the opening of the PNG Express shipping route, Citilink’s Denpasar-Port Moresby flight, as well as the ratification of the Basic Agreement on Border Arrangement, and the reopening of the Skouw-Wutung border post.
Furthermore, concerning Indo-Pacific cooperation, I express the commitment to enhance Indonesia and ASEAN’s engagement with the Pacific, including inviting Pacific representatives to the East Asia Summit and organizing the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum.
In conclusion, Indonesia and PNG are two significant nations from the Global South. It is time for countries of the Global South to support each other in advancing the well-being of our societies, including in the management of the natural resources we possess.