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VANIMO, Papua New Guinea (November 9, 1999 – The National/Abridged)---The Vanimo Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with its Irian Jaya counterpart across the border, will stage the first-ever joint Christmas border trade show at Wutung village, near here in East Sepik Province.

The show, to run from November 26 to December 5, will draw participants from both the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya and the Mamose provinces of West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang and Morobe in Papua New Guinea.

Following political backing and the announcement of the proposed trade show by the four Mamose regional governors and their Irian Jaya counterpart, the show is expected to draw thousands of people from far and wide.

Business houses and individuals on both sides of the border have been encouraged to confirm their participation early so that the necessary logistics are in place.

In Jayapura, where shopping and business is carried out late into the night, the concept of night shopping is to be on trial here during that period, as Sandaun has long daylight hours as well as being a peaceful place.

According to Border Trade Show Committee Chairman Patrick Muliale, the show, if successful, will become an annual event in the next millennium, with other activities to be included.

Mr. Muliale said the event will permit people from both countries to come and do Christmas shopping right at the border while at the same time generating revenue and fostering dialogue and friendship.

Mr. Muliale added that the trade show should also be seen as the model for occasional special markets that would be conducted in the Irian Jaya and PNG border villages of Wutung and Skou Sae to further promote trade relations between the two countries.

The Irian Jaya Chamber of Commerce recently staged successful trade fairs in several different parts of PNG, including the capital during the September Hiri Moale Festival.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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