Australia cements ties with PNG, reinforces role in Pacific

Australia cements ties with PNG, reinforces role in Pacific

This article originally appeared in the Economist Intelligence Unit, 16 January 2023.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Papua New Guinea on 12-13 January. He held meetings with his PNG counterpart James Marape and became the first foreign leader to address the country's parliament. Australia is PNG's largest donor and trade partner, and is keen to cement bilateral ties as it strives to preserve its influence in the Pacific Islands region.

Prime Minister Albanese's visit was important for three reasons:

1. It helps ensure that PNG does not follow the Solomon Islands in signing a security pact with China.

2. It means other agreements reached during the visit will strengthen bilateral economic ties, with Australia continuing to be PNG's largest donor and trade partner. 

3. It ensures Australia will continue to provide additional support in areas that it believes are conducive to positive developmental outcomes. 

Read more at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Areas of expertise: Economics and politics in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific; trade policy; economic history