Bilateral trade increased by 25% between 2020 and 2021
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape in the Papuan capital, Port Moresby, on the final leg of his tour of the Pacific islands. Papua New Guinea is underdeveloped but has significant natural reserves, while China is already a major investor in the country and buys much of the country’s gas, minerals, timber and other resources. PNG. Bilateral trade increased from $3.21 billion in 2020 to $4.02 billion in 2021. Marape said talks with Wang focused on economic cooperation and a long-running free trade agreement. discussed. Marape also said he wants to shift PNG’s economy from commodity exports to more lucrative finished goods exports.
“Officials from China and Papua New Guinea are in the process of fine-tuning China-PNG free trade agreements,” Marape said on Friday (June 3). “The details of the free trade agreement are being finalized as we go along, so that Papua New Guinea’s interests are not suppressed or harmed, but maintained and enhanced.” The country is the third largest island country in the world with an area of 462,840 km2 and a population of around 9 million. Most Papuans are engaged in agricultural work. The national GDP is about US$35 billion with a per capita income of about US$2,500 per year.
Papua New Guinea is a member of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, the most influential BRI project in PNG being the first demonstration base of “Juncao Highlands Rice Technology”, implemented by Lin Zhanxi’s team from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. Juncao technology, which in Chinese means breeding mushrooms with herbaceous plants, has benefited 106 countries and regions by fighting poverty, soil erosion and desertification. It uses specific types of fungi to turn poor soils into more productive pastures. In Papua New Guinea, 8,600 farming households employing 30,000 people have benefited.
Marape said, “Mushrooms and rice, along with coffee, are now the most important high value crops in the highlands of PNG. Juncao is our grass for poverty alleviation and prosperity.
Besides agriculture, China and Papua New Guinea have also reached an agreement on PNG Power Grid Phase 2 project cooperation. The project was undertaken by a Chinese-funded company, which can build transmission and distribution backbones for the highlands and mountainous provinces of PNG. It is conducive to solving the “bottleneck” of the development of electricity supply shortage in PNG. Chinese companies have also contributed to the construction of a large number of infrastructure projects such as the new six-lane highway to the capital, other roads, bridges and several regional airports in PNG, many of which benefited from access to air travel for the first time.
Marape said PNG has learned from China to establish special economic zones and has achieved positive results, Marape said, noting that his country will continue to deepen bilateral pragmatic cooperation, speed up a free trade agreement with China. China and to facilitate Chinese investment in PNG.