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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 30) - Prime Minister Michael Somare said that Papua New Guinea would soon formalize a technical and development agreement with Chile.

"Our officials are currently working on a framework technical and development cooperation agreement between our two countries," Somare said.

Sir Michael held bilateral discussions with Chile's President Ricardo Lagos on the sidelines of the recent APEC summit.

Speaking on his return to PNG last week, Sir Michael said that though the two nations established formal diplomatic relations in 1976, no substantive trade, economic or commercial exchanges have taken place, except through the formal APEC process.

"A small but significant step has already being taken by the Chilean government to promote technical cooperation by offering two diplomatic and language training scholarships to Papua New Guineans to study in Chile.

Sir Michael said that in terms of trade and economic relations, officials would examine the possibility of coffee exports to Chile.

December 1, 2004

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