Govt delegation to visit India

A high profile PNG Government delegation will be visiting India next month to explore different aspects of cooperation.

To be led by Minister for Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, the delegation will explore cooperation in education, health, agriculture, the SME sector and the National Identity project.

The visit will also open dialogue for investments in business and trade, mobilisation of resources targeted at economic growth and harnessing positive pathways India has undertaken.

During the announcement, Minister Maru said it was important to engage with India, which was an emerging superpower in the world.

And with the country pitching for deeper South-South Cooperation, it was only fitting that PNG absorb best practices and lessons from them.

The visit aims to cover a wide range of opportunities which include India’s experience in agriculture, strengthening and improving PNG’s education and health sector, improving SME growth and investment into PNG, running an election for over a billion people, linking the NID system to the electoral system, and facilitating a line of credit for worth over a billion Kina.

“We have a lot of things we can learn from India. We need to go there, we need to rub shoulders, we need to build a network and we need to tap into some of the funds that they’ve been offering to countries like Fiji and Solomon Islands.

“We’re the bigger player now and I’m sure they’d like to work with us,” said Maru.

Acting High Commissioner to India, Seline Leo-Lohia, said the planned visit is timely given that India is now being recognised as a world leader in many facets.

“The news of your coming is well received by the Indian Government and I can assure you we will work around the clock to make this trip a success.”

The trip is planned for the first week of December and has been approved by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

(The Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world found in the city of Agra, India – Picture: UNESCO World Heritage Centre)

Cedric Patjole