Emerson in PNG for Ministerial forum

Media release

5 December 2012

Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson will today join Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr, Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles in Port Moresby for the 21st Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum.

The forum is the cornerstone of Australia's relationship with PNG, providing a platform for Ministers from both countries to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues.

Topics for this week's meetings include co-operation with PNG on a Sovereign Wealth Fund, progress on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus negotiations and talks on a new Economic Cooperation Treaty.

"PNG is keen to diversify its largely resource-based economy, while spreading the benefits of the mining and energy sector throughout the population," Dr Emerson.

"Australia's own experience with managing the resources boom has equipped us well to advise our nearest neighbour," he said.

Dr Emerson, who is also Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy, will brief PNG's Ministers on the Asian Century White Paper.

"Papua New Guinea is keen to strengthen its engagement with Asia," Dr Emerson said. "This is another priority we share."

Two-way trade between Australia and PNG is worth more $7 billion, up 21 per cent from two years ago. Australian companies have more than $16 billion invested in PNG.

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