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Chinese firm to set up network

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 8, 2010) – The Papua New Guinea Government yesterday signed a service agreement with leading Chinese information technology (IT) company Huawei Technologies Limited to set up the Integrated Government Information System (IGIS) for a total cost of US$53 million (PGK151.4 million).

The system will be the first for the country which through a multi-coordination network incorporates all government agencies into a single electronic information highway.

Information and Communications Minister Patrick Tammur who witnessed the signing at Government House said this would include processing of e-work permits, e-learning, e-health, online visa processing, e-passport, e-tax, e-commerce and many others.

Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane signed on behalf of the State while senior vice president of Huawei Qu Wenchu signed on behalf of the Chinese conglomerate who will set up the operation.

"For a project of this magnitude, we had to make sure that we did the right thing by our people and Government," an enthused Mr Tammur said after the signing.

Mr Tammur, however, said the Government had yet to negotiate the terms and conditions of the $US53 million loan agreement which will come from the Exim Bank of China.

Mr Tammur said there was still a long process to go but Cabinet was diligently being briefed and making decisions over the required terms and conditions of the loan agreement.

He said a State negotiating team yesterday began negotiating the terms and conditions of the loan agreement while Mr Qu was still in PNG until his departure tomorrow (Thursday).

Included in the team would be top officials from the departments of Finance and Treasury, National Planning and Monitoring, Communications and Information, Telikom PNG and the Office of the State Solicitor.

"I have tasked my department to liaise closely with these agencies to make the necessary arrangements to kick-start these negotiations," he said.

The Minister said this was because IGIS was a strategic impact project for the country.

Mr Qu thanked the State for having the confidence in the company, adding that they would be working closely with the Government to establish IGIS for the benefit of the people of PNG.

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