PAPUA New Guinea and Timor-Leste are getting support from the Government of Japan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help unlock the major potential for increased cross-border travel, trade, investment and tourism, with neighbouring Indonesia.
ADB and the Japan Special Fund are providing a combined US$2.5 million in technical assistance grants to strengthen management and institutions involved in overseeing the flow of people and goods across borders.
Boosting links will also help reduce poverty along border areas and encourage increased regional integration.
Existing border links between Indonesia and PNG, as well as between Indonesia and Timor-Leste are handicapped by a lack of resources, management capacity and infrastructure, as well as institutional and policy constraints.
“Assistance for building capacity to establish systems, protocols and methods to provide border management services and to facilitate cross-border trade, investment, transport and tourism is a first step in preparing the countries to participate in economic corridor activities,” ADB Pacific Department Pacific Strategy and Special Operations director Sungsup Ra, said.
The grants will be used for training and equipment to raise the capacity of border management, trade, tourism and infrastructure agencies to adopt international practices in customs, immigration, quarantine and security and identify trade flows and opportunities.