PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOES ONLINE IN U.S.

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Feb. 14, 2000 – The National)---A new website launched by PNG's embassy in the United States provides the world with a window to the country.

The website, http://www.pngembassy.org, provides comprehensive information on the people, culture, economy, geography, environment and political structure of PNG, Foreign Affairs Minister Sir John Kaputin said.

Sir John said the site also allows people to download application forms for visas, work permits and other migration-related documents.

He said the initiative, apart from using the Internet to increase the country's profile, also complements the department's aim to rationalize and streamline its operations.

He said the site would contribute to saving time and money for PNG embassies and clients all over the world.

Since its launch, the site has registered over 5,000 hits from North America, Europe, Asia and Papua New Guinea, with many people downloading information and visa and work permit forms from the site.

Consistent with this drive to streamline the department's operation, the embassy will ensure that the costs required to operate and maintain the site will be met by advertisements.

Sir John praised Ambassador Sir Nagora Bogan, who is currently in PNG to head a taxation review team, and the embassy staff for their efforts.

Embassy spokesman and Charge d'Affairs Graham Michael said the site provides the embassy with important demographic and statistical information that can be used for planning purposes.

The site was built around key themes featuring a newsletter, country profile, services, doing business, news and information, cultural tourism, religion, environment and conservation, a directory and a site map.

Obtaining general information on Papua New Guinea will now be easier. The site also provides postal addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers and e-mail addresses of practically all government departments, statutory bodies and foreign missions in the directory page.

The culture page offers information on traditional art and music and will be used to promote the work of contemporary artists as well as musicians through linkages to web sites of such artists as Larry Santana and recording studios like Pacific Gold or Chin Hoi Min (CHM).

Mr. Michael invited visitors to sign the web guest book and offer constructive comments to assist the embassy improve the site.

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

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