US to enhance relations with PNG

Bernadette Carreon – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Port moresby, Papua New Guinea (4E) – The United States Pacific Partnership between Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will be enhanced for the three countries’ development.

Thus said the newly appointed US Ambassador to PNG, Walter North said that the bilateral relations with the countries are very important.

“The US wants to maintain good bilateral relations with Papua New Guinea and contribute to its development, therefore, collaboration between these three countries is very important.

“The US Government will continue to contribute towards Women’s Empowerment such as response to gender based violence, enhancing Pacific Partnership between Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and PNG,” North said in a press conference in PNG.

He also stressed that the US government will continue to help respond to gender based violence in PNG.

He also said that under President Obama’s Global Health Initiative, Educational and Cultural Exchanges and Democracy and Good Governance, the US can work with PNG.

Ambassador North arrived in Papua New Guinea on November 18, following his September 20 confirmation by the United States Senate and his swearing-in as Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands on November 7.

Prior to that, Ambassador North served as the Mission Director in India, Indonesia, Zambia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

PNG is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the Pacific, according to the Pacific Economic Monitor issued by the Asian Development Bank.

The ADB report says preliminary GDP figures show growth of 9.2% in 2012, on the back of 11.1% growth in 2011. By June 2012 the number of private sector jobs in the economy had risen by 5%, building on a doubling of employment opportunities over the last decade.

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