PM praises SBY for ‘historic’ visit

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has described the Indonesian president’s visit last week as historic, catapulting relations between PNG and Indonesia to new heights.
Sir Michael said this in his address at a welcome dinner hosted for president Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and first lady Ani last Thursday night.
“I am confident we are at the dawn of a new phase in our relations,” he said.
The last visit by a president of Indonesia to Papua New Guinea was 31 years ago.
“This is too few and far between for two countries that share a common land and maritime border,” Sir Michael said.
“Our enhanced partnership manifests itself in the increasing economic, trade and investment relations.
“The increasing cultural and sporting exchanges have also underscored this mutual and maturing friendship.
“We can do more,” Sir Michael said.
He said PNG welcomed Indonesian investment in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, tourism, petroleum and energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and high-tech industries.
He said the double taxation avoidance treaty would facilitate this.
“I urge our officials to consider an Investment Promotion Protection Agreement to complement this tax agreement.”
“Papua New Guinea admires your country’s achievements and progress made in human resources development and successes in agriculture, manufacturing, electronic and high-tech industries,” Sir Michael told Dr Yudhoyono, who is fondly known as SBY, at the welcome dinner.