Sunday, March 01, 2020

PM Marape and PM Sogavare sign bilateral agreements in Honiara

Prime Minister James Marape and his counterpart Manaseh Sogovare on 28th February 2020, during Prime Minister’s Official Visit to Solomon Islands, signed two important bilateral documents.

Prime Ministers Hon. James Marape and Hon. Manasseh Sogavare signing the bilateral agreements in Honiara on Friday.

Prime Ministers Hon. James Marape and Hon. Manasseh Sogavare after  signing the bilateral agreements in Honiara on Friday.

These two documents are:

  1. Framework Treaty Guiding Relations between the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

This is the overarching framework treaty that provides the principles guiding the relations between our two countries. This Treaty was first signed in 1995 and was than reviewed in 2004. The Treaty has now been reviewed for the second time and signed by the Prime Ministers. This Treaty is a key overarching document that entails our bilateral cooperation and how the Governments of the two countries can work together. 

  1. Framework Agreement on Development and Economic Cooperation 

This Framework Agreement signifies a positive development in the PNG-Solomon Islands bilateral relations. This framework agreement is the mechanism that will pave the way for greater sectoral cooperation. 

The areas of cooperation by mutual agreement include but are not limited to the following; 

  • Agriculture
  • Air Services 
  • Bilateral Trade Arrangements 
  • Climate Change and Environment 
  • Defence and Security Cooperation
  • Double Taxation
  • Education and Human Resource Development 
  • Health and Medical 
  • Investment Promotion Protection
  • Marine and Fisheries Cooperation
  • Mining and Energy 
  • Tourism and Culture

Prime Minister Marape has reiterated that this relationship between the two countries goes deeper than the political partnership.

“Our relationship predates the geopolitical boundaries that have demarcated us," he said. 

" We are a people that share a common cultural heritage and strong faith based values. 

“This Official Visit was aimed at enhancing the bilateral relationship and neighbourly cooperation with our Melanesian neighbour and to advocate for a greater economic partnership between our two countries through our businessmen and women. "

Prime Minister Marape led a delegation consisting of Four cabinet Ministers, one Vice-Minister, Government officials and affluent businessmen and women from PNG on the two-day visit to the Solomon Islands.

" This visit not only focused on the political agenda but also on our economic, developmental and social priorities, people to people links and private sector partnerships," he said. 

"The PNG Business Council members also had the opportunity to meet with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce.

" Trade and Investment is important as economic independence will lead to vibrant, happy and peaceful region. 

"It is the objective of the two Prime Ministers that both countries work together for common prosperity. 

"We need a strong and stable Melanesian region and these can only be achieved through deeper and more meaningful engagement and cooperation. 

" Our two Governments now look toward a new era of our relations with regular dialogue at the Leaders' level. 

 The Prime Ministers agreed to an annual Leaders’ Meeting and on the margins of the meeting, the business communities will continue to meet. 

Senior officials from both were directed by the Leaders to meet soon to review and finalise outstanding economic and social sector agreements including arrangements for 50 scholarships for Solomon Islands students to study annually in tertiary institutions in Papua New Guinea between 2021-2025 and other arrangements.

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