New Zealand visit to focus on trade relationships, says PM


PRIME Minister James Marape left yesterday for a State visit to New Zealand.
He told a media conference in parliament yesterday that the state visit would be focused on trade, commerce and business and economic relationships.
Deputy Prime Minister David Steven, the Justice Minister and Attorney-General, will be acting prime minister.
“I am travelling to New Zealand in my first State visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern,” he said.
Marape will be stopping in Fiji to attend the Pacific Island Leaders’ forum in which he will speak to the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin who is visiting Fiji.
“In that meeting, I intend to meet President Rivlin and speak to him about reconfiguring the PNG – Israel relationship,” Marape said.
“PNG subscribes to Christian values and efforts however small it is but significant step in the way we would recognise our relationship with Israel.
“We wish to have a permanent, strong and better relationship with the nation of Israel.”
Marape will be spending four days in New Zealand.
He returns next Tuesday.
Next Thursday, he will lead a delegation of businessmen and government officials for a two-day state visit to the Solomon Islands.
Marape will also visit Indonesia and Philippines later in the year.
“That should complete the five nations that are closest to our country,” he said.
“We are fortunate to have first class economies as our closest bilateral partners in Australia and New Zealand.
“We are also fortunate to have two strong economies that are growing closest to us in the region – Indonesia and the Philippines.”
Marape also plans to visit Rwanda, China and the United States.