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PIA Press Release
2009/03/30

Bilateral relations between RP, PNG reflect commitment to development

Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan (30 March) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and visiting Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said existing bilateral relations between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea reflect the commitment of the two nations to pursue joint efforts towards sustainable development beneficial to both countries and their peoples.

Both leaders read statements on these bilateral ties during the state dinner tendered by President Arroyo at Shangri-la's Boracay Resorts and Spa here. It will be remembered that President Arroyo also visited the island's first international deluxe resort last March 3 to launch a campaign towards boosting the country's tourism industry.

Somare and his party arrived in this world-famous "paradise island" March 29 to have a dialogue with President Arroyo on mutual areas of concern and signed today (March 30) a memorandum of agreement on fisheries.

The head of one of the world's most pristine countries landed aboard a chartered plant at the Caticlan airport in Malay, Aklan where he trooped the line.

On hand to welcome Somare were Congressman Florencio Miraflores of the Lone District of Aklan, Gov. Carlito Marquez, Malay Mayor Ciceron Cawaling, AFP Chief of Staff, General Alexander Yano and other local officials.

Arroyo said the mutual ties binding the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and the pursuit of joint efforts towards development can be part of the solution to the current global economic slowdown.

Aside from the agreement on fisheries development, the two countries have been working together in other areas within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Forum, South-West Dialogue, and so-called coral triangle that also involve Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor and Solomon Islands.

Somare said he places high importance on the bilateral relations between his country and the Philippines as these have led to a fruitful exchange on mutual interests and concerns.

These are relations that have grown from strength to strength and enhanced friendship, he added.

Citing existing Filipino investments in his country especially in the fisheries sector, he said he welcomes more investments from the Philippine businessmen particularly in agriculture, forestry, petroleum and infrastructure.

This is Somare's 3rd visit to the Philippines, the last of which was in 1996. (PIA 6) [top]

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