Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PNG to grant gas concessions to Thai firms

Bangkok Post

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has agreed to grant natural gas concessions to the Thai private sector during talks with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra talks to Papua New Guinea Governor-General Michael Ogio at his office in Port Moresby yesterday. PHOTO BY GOVERNMENT HOUSE
The decision applies especially to PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), Thailand's sole oil and gas explorer.
Ms Yingluck was on a two-day visit to Papua New Guinea which ended yesterday.
Ms Yingluck's trip was aimed at forging closer ties between the two countries and boosting cooperation in energy investments.
Mr O'Neill praised Ms Yingluck for being Thailand's first female prime minister, who came to power through an election, and being a role model for Papua New Guinean women.
She thanked her Papua New Guinea counterpart for the praise.
The two government leaders also agreed to cooperate in agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
Papua New Guinea wanted Thailand to transfer technological knowledge on agriculture and Thai rice species as Papua New Guinea was Thailand's second largest rice importer after Australia, she said.
During the talks, Ms Yingluck said Mr O'Neill wanted Thailand to run direct flights to his country, which has many popular diving sites.
Papua New Guinea also offered to remove tax obstacles to Thai businesses, she added.
Thailand wanted to use Papua New Guinea as a gateway to the Pacific islands, said Ms Yingluck, who led a Thai delegation comprising representatives from 30 businesses. The countries have also agreed to hold a joint parliament meeting annually.
Ms Yingluck has invited Mr O'Neill to visit Thailand.

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