Discussions with NZ to progress economic cooperation

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey recently met with New Zealand’s High Commissioner to PNG, Phillip Taula, to progress the economic cooperation between the two countries.

This follows Prime Minister James Marape’s state visit to New Zealand in February where it was agreed to forge closer relations between the two countries.  

“I thanked the New Zealand government for its continuous support for PNG’s economic development,” stated the Treasurer.

“The recent opening of the Gordon’s market in Port Moresby has created a safe space for fresh produce markets that will support the livelihoods for vendors and their families. These actions may seem small in the context of PNG’s development ambition but it’s an important demonstration of how we can improve the livelihoods of our people.

“The Prime Minister has already identified the opportunity for using retired New Zealand senior public servants to sit on government boards or on the boards of our state-owned enterprises. There are likely to be more opportunities for cooperation as we continue to embark on our ambitious economic reform program.

“Another key focus of our future cooperation is strengthening our joint efforts in labour mobility. We discussed ways to increase the number of Papua New Guinean workers participating in New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.

“Last year, less than 200 Papua New Guinean workers went to New Zealand, compared to around 5,000 workers from Vanuatu. This reflects a lost economic opportunity for many Papua New Guineans to earn money that can be sent back home to PNG, in addition developing valuable skills and experience they can bring back to PNG.

“I updated the High Commissioner about our progress reforming and strengthening our labour mobility arrangements. The Ministerial Committee on Labour Mobility has met several times and the Labour Mobility Unit has been established in my Department. Over the coming months, I look forward to working further with the New Zealand High Commission to support the work of our Labour Mobility Unit and help New Zealand businesses identify workers that will thrive under the RSE. This will be complementary to work underway with Australia to increase labour mobility between our countries.

“Working with trusted international partners like New Zealand is a key priority for the Marape-Steven Government. This follows our close economic cooperation with Australia and I will continue to explore cooperation with Europe, India and others to support PNG’s own reforms and priorities.”

(Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey meeting with NZ High Commissioner, Philip Taula, in Port Moresby on March 4th)

Press release