PAPUA New Guinea is China’s biggest trade partner and investment destination among Pacific island countries, its ambassador, Wei Ruixing, said on Tuesday at a reception to mark the 60th anniversary of the republic.
Mr Wei added that the total volume of bilateral trade last year was US$ 860 million (K2.362 billion), and this figure will rise once production begins at the Ramu nickel mine in Madang.
He said China had carried out several programmes in Papua New Guinea and they included:
* Chinese government scholarships to PNG university students;
* Pubic service staff development;
* Military exchange programme; and
* Medical assistance programme.
This year, 20 students have been selected to pursue degree programmes at universities in China while five senior officers from the Defence Force department are currently enrolled under the PNG-China military
A Chinese medical team was based at the Port Moresby General Hospital, Mr Wei said.
He gave an assurance that China would continue “to enhance cooperation in all sectors” to promote stable bilateral ties.
Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane, Defence Force chief Commodore Peter Ilau, Trade and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris and Civil Aviation, Culture, Tourism and Arts Minister Charles Abel were among the guests at the reception.