O’Neill who was represented by Minister for Sports and National Events Justin Tkatchenko made those remarks at the official hand-over ceremony of the International Convention Centre by the government of the People’s Republic of China to PNG recently in Port Moresby.
O’Neill said soon we expect to announce the first regular commercial flights between Papua New Guinea and China.
“We will be inviting Chinese tourists to come to Papua New Guinea, and we will see more of our students travel to China.”
O’Neill added that the relationship between China and Papua New Guinea is stronger than ever.
“We have deep understanding of each other’s interests and concerns, and we are prepared to state our positions.
“Our country respects and upholds a one China policy - we work with Beijing as our counterpart to Port Moresby.”
He said regardless of the difference in our population size, we also have a lot in common.
“China and Papua New Guinea are cultures that are tens of thousands of years old in history and tradition.
“But we are also modernising countries where we are combining this tradition with economic advancement.
“Importantly, our two countries are now reaching a milestone in our bilateral relationship – celebrating 40 years of formal recognition.”
Built by China Jiangxi International at a cost of $US 496 million (K1,572.11m), the International Convention Centre has 9,700 sqm of dedicated meeting space inside: a central auditorium, a 750-seat theatre, large plenary rooms, a state-of-the art media centre, a circular 48-seat boardroom, a formal dining room and, on the second floor, a collection of breakout rooms.
The project has been delivered as a friendship venture between the governments of China and Papua New Guinea.
The center will host the 2018 APEC Summit and other upcoming national events.