CHINA-PNG TRADE THRIVING

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Culture, education, and health exchanges also positive

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 2, 2008) - Trade between China and Papua New Guinea continues to grow, with the total volume of bilateral trade for the first half of this year recording US$488 million (PGK126 million), Chinese Ambassador to PNG Wei Ruixing said.

Mr. Wei, when disclosing these figures at a reception marking the 59th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, at the Chinese Embassy on Tuesday night, said this was an increase of 38 percent from the previous year.

He said that these figures would soar with the Ramu nickel mine project due to start operations next year.

"The total volume of our bilateral trade for the first half of this year recorded US$488 million, an increase of 38 percent.

"More and more reliable Chinese enterprises have been investing in PNG, with about US$11 million last year," he said.

"PNG has been the largest trade partner and investment destination country of China among the South Pacific island countries during the past few years."

Wei said with the Ramu nickel mine project to be completed and put into operation in the second half of next year, the economic cooperation between China and PNG would be lifted to a higher level.

He said exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture, education, health, agriculture, fisheries and others had also yielded fruitful results.

As examples, he cited the 26 PNG students who were granted Chinese government scholarships to pursue their degree studies in China.

More than 50 government officials and technical personnel of different sectors were also being trained in China for various programs while the fourth Chinese medical team, dispatched by the Chinese government, was due to arrive in Port Moresby next month to provide continuous medical services to the Papua New Guineans, he said.

Wei also referred to a series of Chinese government-aided projects such as the completion of teachers’ houses and students’ dormitories at Vudal University and Lae fish processing factory.

"Further development of China-PNG friendly and cooperative relations is in conformity with the common interests of the two peoples," he added.

He said the Chinese government was ready to work with the PNG Government and people to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.

The Chinese government would also work to expand and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields and continue mutual support and sound cooperation in international and regional affairs so as to ensure stable and sound bilateral relations between the two countries in the years and decades to come, Wei said.

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