Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister James Marape met virtually today to sign agreements for $580 million in upgrades and refurbishments to several priority ports in Papua New Guinea, with a loan and grant finance package to be delivered through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP).
The two Prime Ministers recognised high quality, transformational infrastructure projects were vital to Papua New Guinea’s economic development and prosperity.
“This investment will improve trade and connectivity in the region, support economic recovery from COVID-19 and help safeguard the development of critical infrastructure in Papua New Guinea,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“It builds on Australia’s record of supporting critical infrastructure in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.”
Prime Minister Marape welcomed the investment and said that this complements his government’s signature project, the “Connect PNG Program” and thanked the Australian Government for its continuous support rendered under the Papua New Guinea-Australia Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP) arrangement, which strengthens the bilateral relationship.
“Upgrades to these key ports will facilitate trade and investment opportunities for PNG local products to reach designated domestic and international markets, create local employment, stimulate economies of scale, and build business confidence to grow our economy.”
Australia’s investment will help Papua New Guinea Ports Corporation Limited to undertake urgent repairs and upgrades to key Papua New Guinea ports, some of which are more than 70 years old.
We will work together to provide quality, climate-resilient infrastructure that will provide significant economic and social benefits to the people of Papua New Guinea.
Ports are critical for connectivity and economic growth in Papua New Guinea, where coastal shipping is the only access to goods and services, trade and passenger travel for many communities. The investment will also position Lae Tidal Basin, Papua New Guinea’s largest port, to become a regional hub to the Pacific by improving Lae Port’s capacity to service dedicated container ships from Southeast Asia.
The agreements will also see works undertaken on Kimbe on the north coast of New Britain, Lorengau (Manus Island), Kavieng (New Ireland), Vanimo (West Sepik) and Wewak (East Sepik).
The agreements recognise the critical importance of Australia and Papua New Guinea’s bilateral partnership and build on the joint ambition established through the CSEP.
We will continue working hand in hand with our broader Pacific family to advance our shared goals of a secure, stable, prosperous and resilient region.