Papua New Guinea TREASURER Ian Ling Stuckey says the level of Australian development assistance to PNG through bilateral and regional programmes is expected to increase.
“The Australian budget presented last week by treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues with support for the PNG people and the economic reform programmes of the Government,” he said.
The increase is from AU$587.8 million (about K1.57 billion) in 2021-22 to AU$596.1 million (K1.59 billion) in 2022-23.
He said it included support for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) due to its on-going impact in the Pacific.
“The level of support to PNG is probably going to be even larger than set out in the Australian budget documents,” he said.
“The reason for this is the doubling in the size of the Australian infrastructure finance facility for the Pacific, increasing from AU$1.5 billion (about K4 billion) to AU$3 billion (about K8 billion).”
He said PNG was expected to benefit substantially from the programme which was already supporting infrastructure initiatives on ports, energy and roads.
“The Australian budget is a further demonstration of the strong ties between PNG and Australia,” he said.
“More important than this financial assistance is the strength of the people-to-people relationship between our countries.
“We have so many shared values. The opening of doors to the expansion of labour mobility programmes with Australia, and the opportunities this provides for our youth and local communities, is just a further example of the breadth of our friendship.”
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