This promise was delivered by Governor Chris Haiveta at the closing of the 2017 HMF on Saturday.
The festival is hosted yearly by the Motu-Koita Assembly to celebrate the famous Hiri Trade.
As Haiveta said, the trade built long-lasting friendships and marriages between the people of these two provinces – Gulf and Motu-Koitabu.
“The trade has an intrinsic and cultural value of our people which must never be forgotten and allowed to change with time and progress,” he said.
Haiveta said the Gulf Provincial Administration is taking joint-ownership of this event from this year onwards.
To honour this commitment, a committee has been appointed to work with the Motu-Koita committee for the biggest event in 2018.
“Which will see the actual re-enactment of the sailing of the Lagatoi from my province (Gulf) and other related activities to give full meaning and value to the Hiri trade expedition.
“Next year, this event will be a hallmark event as it will be closer to the 2018 APEC Summit. We expect thousands of people from all over the globe to be present in our city. It’s an opportune time to market our culture, our history and heritage properly to the world.
“I pledge my government’s undivided and full support in the coming years,” he said.
Governor Haiveta has also extended the invitation to the HMF chairman Opoa Udia and the 2017 Miss Hiri Queen to be a part of the celebration in Gulf Province on December 1, to mark the signalling of the Lahara trade winds.