The 25th Papua New Guinea-Australia Ministerial Forum was held at the Madang Resort Hotel on 8 March 2017, in Madang, Papua New Guinea.
The Ministerial Forum is an important bilateral meeting held annually between Ministers of both countries.
The Forum was co-chaired by Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon Rimbink Pato LLB OBE MP, and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.
Ministers discussed areas of mutual interest including, the close economic and strategic partnership and the cooperation between our two countries on regional security and economic resilience. Ministers also discussed mechanisms to continue strengthening two-way trade and emphasised the importance of open, competitive markets for growth and prosperity.
The Ministerial Forum welcomed Australia’s ongoing support for Papua New Guinea to host APEC in 2018, including through the long-standing Defence Cooperation Program, policy support, and the extension of the Papua New Guinea-Australia Police Partnership to December 2018.
Ministers also noted the opportunities for further cooperation as partners in the Indo-Pacific region, and looked forward to ongoing work to promote job creation, stimulate economic growth and tackle security threats.
Ministers welcomed the close ties being forged between young people, emerging leaders and the businesses community in Australia and Papua New Guinea, including through the New Colombo Plan, and highlighted the importance of continuing to build a vibrant and contemporary partnership.
The Ministerial Forum also recognised the unique relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea and our deep historic links, with 2017 marking the 75th anniversary of the Papua Campaign.
The Ministerial Forum was held on International Women’s Day and Ministers highlighted the need to continue efforts in both countries to expand opportunities for women’s leadership, economic and physical security.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with each other in areas of mutual benefit and interest, as the bilateral relationship goes from strength to strength.
From Papua New Guinea, the delegation included:
- The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Rimbink Pato MP
- The Minister for National Planning, the Hon Charles Abel MP
- The Minister for Public Service, the Hon Sir Puka Temu MP
- The Minister for National Events, Sport and APEC, the Hon Justin Tkatchenko MP
- The Minister for Police, the Hon Robert Atiyafa MP
And from Australia, delegation members included:
- The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
- The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP
- The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
- The Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Hon Dan Tehan MP
- The Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Keith Pitt MP
- The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC
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