During the 16th Mining and Petroleum Conference, the former Foreign Minister spoke on ‘Why Australia should invest more in PNG’.
In a discussion panel held during the conference, Bishop had a dialogue with Minister for International Trade and Investment, Richard Maru on furthering investment in PNG by working together.
“Minister Maru and I have been speaking about this topic and we agree there should be more Australian investment in PNG, it’s just a question of how we do it,” she stated.
Bishop added that Australian people have long supported PNG’s development through the foreign aid budget. This year, it would be about $600 million but the Australian Private sector has also long supported development in PNG.
“The Australian government does not tell Australian business were to invest but businesses choose to invest in PNG and the current investment is around $24billion. She said that it is a significant amount but the sum needs to increase.
She stated that as her time as foreign Minister one of her earliest commitments was to move the relationship between PNG and Australia on from Aid Donor recipient to equal economic partners and that is a vision not only the Australian government has but is shared by PNG.
Bishop commended the PNG Government for a resounding mandate and congratulated Prime Minister James Marape for forming government.
“His ‘Connect PNG’ Policy is so exciting because he has identified areas of focus where I know Australian business has expertise and will have great interest in partnering with PNG. He spoke about roads, airports, wharves, communications, internet, energy, healthcare, education, forestry, agricultural, fisheries and tourism.”