Papua New Guinea foreign minister in Manila to tackle tourism, agri ties

PAPUA New Guinea (PNG) Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko is expected to meet with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A. Manalo on Thursday to discuss bolstering ties in tourism, labor, agriculture and trade, among others.

“The two ministers will likewise exchange views on regional developments of mutual concern to both countries,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

A policy consultation mechanism, which was agreed upon through a memorandum of understanding signed in the United States in November last year, is also expected to take place during the meeting.

“The extent of bilateral ties is productive and rewarding; however, there is scope for both countries to further expand cooperation in business, trade and investment, tourism and downstream processing,” Mr. Tkatchenko said in a statement.

The mechanism will entail discussions on regional and international issues that concern both the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Based on DFA data, there are more than 35,000 Filipinos in Papua New Guinea, who are mostly working as managers and supervisors.

“PNG and Philippines have abundant natural resources and can learn from each other’s experiences through mutual cooperation specifically in the Fisheries, Agriculture, tourism and downstream processing,” Papua New Guinea’s top diplomat said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez