7 Dec 2012

Australia and PNG commit to closer economic co-operation

2:37 pm on 7 December 2012

Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed on the wording of an economic co-operation treaty at the 21st joint ministerial forum between the two countries in Port Moresby.

The treaty, which will not go before the Australian parliament until March next year at the earliest, will see visa restrictions relaxed for investors and workers looking to go to PNG.

The Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the economic co-operation treaty commits Canberra to work on trade, investment and business co-operation.

He says he thinks Australian business needs to get serious, pick up this treaty and start partnering with business organisations in PNG.

The PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato says his government would make a series of announcements next year on reducing the high costs of doing business in PNG and would conduct reviews of its regulatory, taxation and immigration systems.

He says there are so many areas for investment in PNG, from mining to oil to gas as wells as forestry and fisheries.