Today I travel to Papua New Guinea to co-chair the annual Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum, and Business Dialogue. I will be joined by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison, Minister for Defence David Johnston and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan.
The participation of four senior members of the Coalition reflects the strength and depth of the relationship the Australian Government shares with our closest neighbour.
Forum discussions will focus on key areas of bilateral cooperation, including defence and policing cooperation, the implementation of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement, how Australia is assisting PNG to host APEC in 2018, and strengthening PNG's public service through improved education and training.
I look forward to co-chairing the annual Ministerial Forum Business Dialogue, which enables the business community to discuss with Ministers ways to further strengthen trade and investment links between our two countries.
Following the Ministerial Forum, I will travel to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville – the first visit to Bougainville by an Australian Foreign Minister since 2000. Here I will meet political and community leaders to discuss the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and visit Australian aid-funded projects in Buka and Arawa.
I will then visit Goroka in the Highlands region where I will participate in a roundtable with civil society representatives and political leaders focusing on women’s economic empowerment and family and sexual violence. I will also visit aid-funded projects supported by Australia focused on literacy, health and small business.
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