Saturday, April 03, 2010

Something that Papua New Guinea can be proud of: Abal

The new Papua New Guinea Embassy building in Tokyo is something the whole country can be proud of, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal.
He said during the opening of the new building on Wednesday that the plan for PNG to acquire a prime piece of real estate in Tokyo, known to be a very-expensive place, was hatched in 2007.

"After the return of the National Alliance Government in July 2007, it decided to continue its existing policies and at the same time pursue new areas and in particular the Export-Driven Policy to drive growth through the creation of industries for export," Mr Abal said.

"The Prime Minister had firm plans to fund the construction of a Chancery Building in Tokyo during the second term of his Government.

"This project is significant in many ways.

"First, this investment would only be the second, in terms of constructing a new building, after the construction of the Haus Tambaran or the Spirit Haus in Canberra, Australia, which was completed some 30 years ago.

"It is significant also because the investment in a PNG Haus symbolises the close, maturing and evolving relations which PNG enjoys with Japan.

"This building is a statement of our appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for their continued support for PNG development efforts and at the same time our firm desire to engage constructively with Japan for the mutual benefit of our two countries and our peoples."

Mr Abal said the Government appropriated K15 million in the 2008 National Budget and further provided an additional amount of K2.97m in the same year.

" The effect of the rising oil prices had directly impacted on the price of steel and building materials, therefore, the Embassy was forced to seek additional funding in October 2008, which I am happy to say Cabinet approved K5 million which was released early this year," he said.

Mr Abal said he was personally satisfied that the project had been executed professionally and the building turned out to fully to his expectations.

"Indeed, the quality of work is outstanding and I commend all parties concerned for their part in making this great project a success," he said.

"Congratulations to Mr Yokoyama for a modern yet PNG flavor design depicting PNG as it strives for its own identity and place in the community of nations.

"The project manager, Sao Facilities,  for representing PNG Government and the people's interests and the contractor, Fujita Corporation, particularly Mr Ta Kayanagi for making our dream a reality and completing the work within budget and on schedule.

" Of course a special acknowledgement to the Embassy staff led by our former Ambassador to Japan and secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Michael Maue, for successfully delivering the project on time.

"Congratulations to all for an excellent job.

"PNG is both grateful and proud of your achievement.

"I take this opportunity to thank our former Ambassadors, their families and our officers who are serving now and those who served in the past to promote Japan-PNG relations.

"I know they all have worked hard.

 "Some of the former Heads of Mission and spouses of two who have passed away are among us today to witness this occasion.

"Over the years they too have tried hard to secure funds to construct our own building, particularly in a place like Tokyo.

"I am glad that Amb Anthony Farapo, Mr Vincent Maragu, Lady Nicky Nombri and Mrs Elisabeth Lalatute are able to join us today.

"Only Amb Aiwa Olmi is unable to join us on this occasion."

Mr Abal told Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare that his officers had carried out the tasks diligently and with purpose.

"I am satisfied with the work which has been accomplished and I commend the building to you, the Government and people of PNG," he said.

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