My first visit to Papua New Guinea as Foreign Minister reaffirmed the strength of Australia’s bilateral relationship with one of our closest neighbours.

In my discussion with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Ministers Rimbink Pato and Justin Tkatchenko, I congratulated PNG on their comprehensive preparations for a successful APEC.

Australia will provide high-level security support for APEC Leaders Week, as requested by PNG. We see this as a natural extension of our close and longstanding security partnership.

I joined the PNG Government in launching a project to grow PNG’s digital economy by improving its internet connectivity via satellite, in time for APEC Leaders’ Week meetings in November.

In my meetings with Members of Parliament, I discussed PNG’s participation in the Seasonal Worker Programme and emphasised Australia’s desire and support for more workers to help meet industry demand.

I met with an impressive group of PNG women leaders to hear about the challenges and opportunities they face and their aspirations for PNG.

In my meeting with Environment Minister John Pundari, I affirmed Australia’s commitment to honouring our shared history by working to protect the Kokoda Track and deliver a sustainable and well-managed trekking industry.

I look forward to returning to PNG in November to participate in the 2018 APEC Ministers’ Meeting.

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