Forum to strengthen relations


THE first South Korea-Papua New Guinea dialogue forum was held yesterday to exchange views on issues regarding the current status and prospects of bilateral relations between South Korea and PNG.
South Korean Ambassador to PNG Kim Seong-Choon said that the advice and recommendations from the forum would strengthen the friendship and enrich the future of South Korea-PNG relations.
“Among the Pacific Island countries, PNG is the largest trading partner with South Korea, with the trade volume having increased 150-fold since the establishment of diplomatic ties,” he said.
He said the PNG and South Korea partnership had achieved great improvement in investment and infrastructure development in Papua New Guinea.
Representatives from the public sector, the community and businesses attended the forum.
PNG National Research Institute director Dr Charles Yala, who attended the meeting, said PNG was a country blessed with God-given resources but lacked good leadership and clear policies and systems to make good use of those resources.
“People are willing to assist and help us, we have to define our way, our position and remember this is a competitive world and these investors will go elsewhere if we continue to play up,” he said.
He said PNG was a country of opportunities and challenges as well but people could take the challenges positively and make use of the potentials.
“We can harness the fast-flowing rivers for hydro, we can use South Korean technology to cut through the mountains and retain the natural landscape and make it a beautiful landscape for tourism. We take our cultural diversity as a gold mine; we can explore it for tourism,” Yala said.

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