The commitment to further strengthen relations was made during a courtesy call to the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, by the European Union Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos.
The Ambassador, who is now beginning his third year in Papua New Guinea, also delivered a letter from European Council President, Donald Tusk, and European Commission President, Jean-Claude Junker, encouraging a deepening of co-operation.
“The European Union is a very important development partner for Papua New Guinea and we value this relationship,” the Prime Minister said following the meeting in Port Moresby Moresby.
“This is an engagement for which we now commemorate 40 years through the Lomé Convention with Europe.
“Development co-operation has strengthened a number of areas in Papua New Guinea, including enhancing environmental management, strengthening public financial practices and promoting of renewable energy.”
The Prime Minister said the EU is also very encouraging of European trade missions visiting Papua New Guinea to promote increased commerce and investment.
“We will have a trade Mission from Sweden coming to Papua New Guinea soon, and more to follow in the coming year.
“Increased people-to-people contact, particularly with high level business people, highlights the investment potential of Papua New Guinea.
“There are many Europeans who are only now beginning to find out about our country, and consuming our fish and other exports.
“We will continue to grow the European market for Papua New Guinea products.”
PM O’Neill said Leaders and Officials from Papua New Guinea will also continue to work with their European counterparts on global environmental issues, that includes climate change and the sustainable management of oceans resources.
“Europe has a clear interest in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and we will ensure that we work together in international forums to promote sustainability.”