O’Neill in China to attend second Belt and Road forum

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill and a Government delegation arrived in China yesterday to attend a second Belt and Road forum which aims to increase agriculture exports from rural areas.
Papua New Guinea is among countries attending the forum to discuss improving infrastructure and supply chains needed to increase agricultural and other production for exports.
“In Papua New Guinea we have some of the most fertile soils in the world that can grow a wide range of food plants and feed livestock, but we have trouble getting it to markets,” O’Neill said.
“It is disheartening when our people harvest vegetables or fruit, and they do not make it to market in a condition that can be sold.
“There are a lot of factors that cause this from transport networks, product handling, bureaucracy in government process, just to name a few.
“But these challenges can be overcome through a much more co-ordinated approach to the development of infrastructure and capacity building.
“We need to continue to increase our internal infrastructure development through greater investment, while at the same time strengthen our linkages with partner countries that makes transportation more efficient.”
He said the “One Belt One Road” initiative was discussed during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Papua New Guinea last year.