The prime minister has talked up the credentials of his new trade minister as he pushes to improve business ties with Papua New Guinea.
At a breakfast at Port Moresby's Grand Papua Hotel on Monday, Mr Rudd told business leaders newly appointed Trade Minister Richard Marles was a "Pacific man" who knew the region.
"Richard has a passion for PNG," he said.
"The reason for this gathering is to make sure that we're doing all we can to make sure the trade and investment relationship with PNG is reaching its full potential.
"I want you all to know what priority I attach to that in (Mr Marles') work."
Mr Marles was parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island affairs before Mr Rudd's aborted tilt for the prime ministership in March.
He was made trade minister when Mr Rudd regained the prime ministership last month.
Trade between Australia and PNG, it's closest neighbour, is approximately $7 billion a year.
Mr Rudd held talks with Mr O'Neill before attending a lunch at PNG's Parliament House before departing for Australia.