MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Papua New Guinea vowed to strengthen overall bilateral ties, particularly on improving trade, and cooperation in combating climate change.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who is in the country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit, discussed ways to improve their countries' 40-year friendship during a bilateral meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday, November 17.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that during the meeting, Aquino "expressed the wish for increased and expanded bilateral trade, noting that in December 2015, Philippine Airlines will increase its frequency to 3 flights (per) week, complementing the weekly flights of Air Niugini."
Agriculture and fisheries are other key areas of cooperation between the two countries, Coloma added.
O'Neill noted that Papua New Guinea also gets a bulk of its rice supply from the Philippines, one of 3 major rice exporters to the country.
The Philippines also wants to strengthen cooperation in the areas of policy consultations, health and medical tourism, investment promotion and protection, and capacity building.
For his part, O'Neill said technology transfer and technical assistance from the Philippines will be appreciated.
He also sought the Philippines' support in Papua New Guinea’s chairmanship in connection with the COP 21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, said Coloma.
Papua New Guinea will host APEC in 2018.
Papua New Guinea is home to about 30,000 Filipinos, with some of them teachers from institutions such as La Salle and Don Bosco. – Rappler.com