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PORT MORESBY (January 1, 2000 - NAUFM/PINA Nius Online)---The Papua New Guinea government is determined to improve the delivery of services in 2001, especially in the rural areas, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said.

Sir Mekere spoke of plans for 2001 as he officially opening the 400,000 kina (US$ 132,800) church for the people of Alukuni in Central Province.

He added that the government's task is to improve its performance and not running banks, telecommunications, airlines and water services. These should be left to the private sector, he said.

Sir Mekere also said last year the economy grew by less than 1 percent, which means people are getting poorer.

The government has plans to remedy this, he said.

To improve the nation's standard of living, the country needs much higher rates of economic growth, he added.

Meanwhile, in Port Moresby, China's Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Zhao Zhenyu, said Papua New Guinea is China's largest trading partner in the region.

He said statistics from January to September this year show that the bilateral trade registered US$ 148 million, a 72 percent increase over the corresponding period last year.

Ambassador Zhenyu also said that Papua New Guinea was the largest year 2000 recipient nation of China's assistance in the South Pacific, with total assistance of more than US$ 62 million.

The ambassador announced that China expects Sir Mekere to make an official visit to China in May.

He said he is confident this will assure a furthering of good relations.

Ambassador Zhenyu made the comments following the signing ceremony for an economic and technical cooperation agreement worth K 3 million (US$ 996,000).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 2, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Three Papua New Guineans have been made knights by Queen Elizabeth II.

Chairman of the National Events Council and former Governor of Madang, Peter Barter, was among 49 Papua New Guineans who received royal awards.

Mr. Barter was knighted for services to community, business, government and country.

The other knighthoods were awarded to:

* The owner of the Papindo string of supermarkets, Soekandar Tjandra, for continued services to community, and business;

* Robert Sinclair, owner of Lae Builders and Construction Company.

The president of the Public Employees Association, Napolean Liosi was been made a Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

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



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 2, 2000 - NAUFM/PINA Nius Online)---Popular local artist George Telek has been awarded a New Years Honors OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his service to the development of Papua New Guinea music.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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