RAPHAEL WAYNE DAMOK
FRANCE is committed to providing development aid to Papua New Guinea through a closer political, economic and cultural relationship between the two nations, according to the new ambassador-designate of France Alain Waquet in Port Moresby yesterday.
In presenting his letters of credence to Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane, Mr Waquet said France, as a major player in the South Pacific region, is looking at strengthening the existing bilateral relationship between the two nations beyond the political dialogue into the fields of economics, investments and trade, cultural exchanges and a view to improve the coordination of all the aspects of that cooperation.
Mr Waquet said France will continue to support NGOs in the country that deal with the plight of women, illiteracy, poverty and inequality and in providing scholarships to Papua New Guinea researchers and students interested to work or study in France or territories of France.
Mr Waquet added that France will draw from the Pacific Fund to finance projects in sports and rural development through local NGOs in the country.
“Emphasis will be placed on technical and vocational training in prevention of major tropical pandemics and the preservation of the environment dealing specifically with corals through coral reef initiative for the South Pacific,” Mr Waquet said.
In accepting the letter of credence from Mr Waquet, Sir Paulias welcomed the new ambassador to PNG and assured him of the PNG Government’s support in carrying out his duties.