Deepening our relationship with Papua New Guinea
My first visit to Papua New Guinea as ForeignMinister reaffirmed the strength of Australia's bilateral relationship with oneof our closest neighbours.
In my discussion with Prime Minister Peter O'Neilland Ministers Rimbink Pato and Justin Tkatchenko, I congratulated PNG on theircomprehensive preparations for a successful APEC.
Australia will provide high-level security supportfor APEC Leaders Week, as requested by PNG. We see this as a natural extensionof our close and longstanding security partnership.
I joined the PNG Government in launching a project togrow PNG's digital economy by improving its internet connectivity viasatellite, in time for APEC Leaders' Week meetings in November.
In my meetings with Members of Parliament, Idiscussed PNG's participation in the Seasonal Worker Programme and emphasisedAustralia's desire and support for more workers to help meet industry demand.
I met with an impressive group of PNG women leadersto hear about the challenges and opportunities they face and their aspirationsfor PNG.
In my meeting with Environment Minister John Pundari,I affirmed Australia's commitment to honouring our shared history by working toprotect the Kokoda Track and deliver a sustainable and well-managed trekkingindustry.
I look forward to returning to PNG in November toparticipate in the 2018 APEC Ministers' Meeting.
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