Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has assured The Kingdom of Tonga of Papua New Guinea’s ongoing support as it prepares to host the 2019 Pacific Games.
At a meeting with Her Royal Highness, Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tukuάho, who is also Tonga’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, the Prime Minister also raised the prospect of increased labor mobility between the two countries, and increasing investment opportunities.
“Papua New Guinea is committed to help Tonga with infrastructure and knowledge support for their hosting of the 2019 Pacific Games,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are all mindful that we are facing challenging economic circumstances around the region, so our support to Tonga will be guided by current economic conditions, and it will be carefully targeted.
“We are committed to helping Tonga ensure that the 2019 Pacific Games will be a great success.”
The Prime Minster said Papua New Guinean investment and business with Tonga continues to increase and this creates jobs in both countries.
“We have already seen the opening of a branch of the Bank South Pacific Office in Tonga.
“In addition to this, there has been growing Papua New Guinean investment around the Pacific, in countries that include Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and we would like to see this investment expand to Tonga.
“An important part of expanding business connections is increasing air services, and around the Pacific, through code sharing agreements with local airlines, we are opening up flights between our countries.
Finally, the Prime Minister said labour mobility is an important issue for Pacific island nations that must be advanced.
“Pacific Islands’ Forum member countries would like to see skilled workers from member countries working around the region.
“We would like to see more people from Tonga come to Papua New Guinea, to share their skills and knowledge with out people, and strengthen our cultural interaction.
“I will continue to advance labour mobility issues with our partners and through regional forums including APEC and the Pacific Islands’ Forum.”
-Papua New Guinea Today