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West Papuans look to PNG for business opportunities

News 29 Oct 2018

Indigenous West Papuans are exploring business opportunities in neighbouring Papua New Guinea, following high-level talks.

The governor of PNG's Madang province last week visited his counterpart in Indonesia's Papua province.

Peter Yama's visit to Jayapura, where he had talks with Papua's Lukas Enembe, followed a trip by the latter to Madang and other PNG provinces last month.

Mr Yama also met with Papua's Indigenous Business Council to discuss how they can grow links.

The council's Merry Yoweni said a council delegation hopes to visit Madang before the end of the year

"Hopefully what Madang offers for Papua can open for our local people to make any tpe of business with them. So we will have a meeting next week to decide about this (the timing of a trip to PNG). So if we can get to Madang, that would be great, to see the opportunity there directly," she said.

Ms Yoweni welcomed Mr Yama's offer of having business channels explored between the two sides of New Guinea.

"Before we cannot go easily to go to PNG to make business with our neighbour," she explained.

Ms Yoweni said the signs that the provincial governments were willing to open up links signalled a good opportunity, purely about economics and unrelated to politics.

Meanwhile, the two governors signed a Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation as sister provinces.

The leaders agreed to explore co-operation in fields including industry and trade, tourism and culture, infrastructure and transportation, education and training, health, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining as well as search and rescue among other areas.

Following his Jayapura visit, Mr Yama travelled to Indonesia's national capital Jakarta.

Source: RNZ Pacific