The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing on a framework for cooperation in PNG’s maritime infrastructure sector.
The MOU outlines cooperation between the Australian Government, including through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (the AIFFP), the PNG Government, and PNG Ports Corporation to support investment preparation activities. These activities are expected to result in a program of potential investments, estimated at PGK 1.1 billion.
The MOU was jointly signed by the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Jon Philp, and the Minister for State Enterprises, Hon. William Duma and PNG Ports Chairman Mr. Kepas Wali. Prime Minister James Marape attended the signing ceremony.
Australia is proud to partner with PNG to strengthen its maritime infrastructure, facilitate trade, and support PNG’s economic development. The recent completion of PNG Ports’ 30 Year Infrastructure Master Plan provides opportunities to strengthen the cooperation between Australia and PNG in this critical sector.
“Australia is responding to Papua New Guinea’s request to support the renewal and upgrade of critical ports”, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape said. “Australia and Papua New Guinea share a strong and enduring bilateral partnership, and today’s agreement will further strengthen our cooperation set out in our Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership”.
The Minister for Public Enterprises Hon. William Duma thanked Australia for having confidence and trust in the Government of PNG through this significant undertaking. He especially acknowledged the Australian Government’s focus on local jobs and local business participation in any investments they finance.
“I am humbled by this gesture from the Australian Government,” Minister Duma said.
“PNG Ports is one of the oldest SOEs in the country and our history is as old as PNG.”
“The foundations of most of our ports were built during the colonial and Pacific War era by the Australians, and it is appropriate that we now come together to jointly collaborate to plan for the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure.”
“PNG Ports will continue to work in close consultation with Australia to ensure that we can work towards developing a proposal that will stand the test of time, as well as maximize benefits for the local community through jobs and community engagement,” said Minister Duma.
High Commissioner Jon Philp welcomed this opportunity and acknowledged that this is part of a growing engagement by Australians to support high-quality infrastructure in PNG.