Marape flags Pertamina fuel deal amid trade, bilateral talks in Indonesia

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Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape greeted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta
Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape greeted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the state visit to Jakarta this week. Image: Sunday Bulletin

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape has flagged a possible partnership with Indonesian state-owned petroleum corporation Pertamina as the western Pacific country deals with the current global surge in fuel prices, reports The National.

Marape, who returned from visiting Indonesia today with a delegation for trade talks, met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo yesterday as PNG looks for alternative sources of fuel.

“I remain confident that our practical discussions and the culmination of the various memorandum of understandings that will be signed will greatly complement PNG’s future socio-economic agenda and reap tangible outcomes,” Marape said after his arrival in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Marape said his visit was at the invitation of Widodo and acknowledged that Indonesia and Australia were PNG’s closest bilateral partners.

“While I have made important strides in the PNG-Australia relationship, I hope to strengthen the PNG-Indonesian relationship,” he said.

Marape said apart from the usual discussions on traditional issues relating to border management and combating cross-border crime, drug smuggling and terrorism, the talks would focus on other strategic opportunities for the two countries.

“The traditional issues are important but these are the traditional bilateral issues which are recurring in nature,” he said.

Strategic importance
“There is a place for those, but it is important that we use the opportunity to canvas other issues which are of strategic importance to us.”

Marape said the visit would focus on business, trade and investment opportunities and capacity building of human resources, among other practical and meaningful outcomes to complement PNG’s development aspirations.

Marape addressed the PNG-Indonesia Business and Investment Seminar yesterday where he was expected to invite Indonesian investors to develop downstream processing facilities in PNG to add value to its vast natural resources for export to Indonesia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other global markets.

Marape was accompanied by wife Rachael, four ministers, one governor, senior government officials, and a business delegation on the official visit who engaged in business and investment exchanges while government officials discussed sectoral issues with their Indonesian counterparts.

The PNG delegation returned today and Marape flew to Wapenamanda Airport, Enga province. He travelled to remote Maramuni to open the Wabag-Maramuni Road, part of the Enga Sepik Highway.

Republished with permission.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape flew to Wapenamanda Airport
PNG Prime Minister James Marape flew to Wapenamanda Airport, Enga, today on his return from Indonesia to open a new road. Image: Sunday Bulletin
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