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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 2) – Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has assured Chinese investors of a safe and conducive business environment should they consider investing in Papua New Guinea.

Sir Michael also reaffirmed PNG's close working relations with China in an interview with visiting journalists from a leading newspaper in China.

Three journalists from The People's Daily yesterday interviewed Sir Michael on PNG-China relations and its benefits to both countries.

Owned by the Communist Party of China, The People's Daily is one of the country's most authoritative newspapers with a circulation of 2 million a day, and is among the top 10 newspapers in the world in terms of daily circulation.

Deputy Director of the International Department of The People's Daily Liu Shuiming said the purpose of the group's visit was to further enhance the good relationship that has been established between both countries.

Following the establishment of a diplomatic relationship in 1976 where both Sir Michael as the country's first Prime Minister signed on our behalf, both countries have benefited immensely.

"We have not deviated from that original signature that I signed since 1976," he said.

The Prime Minister said while China had the technical expertise, technology and market, PNG had raw materials and personnel who can be trained by China to help the country develop.

Sir Michael said despite the negative reports that come from time to time, the majority of Papua New Guineans are good people.

Sir Michael also spoke on other issues including the current political situation, business relations, diplomacy issues and the Bougainville peace process.

Sir Michael extended his appreciation to China for her support as a member of the UN Security Council, which extended the Bougainville Observer Mission for another six months

The delegation that met with the Prime Minister yesterday included three journalists and two officials from the Chinese Embassy in Port Moresby.

September 3, 2004

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