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Papua New Guinea opens representative office in Taiwan

2015/12/31 22:26:17

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) The Papua New Guinea Trade Office in Taiwan opened Thursday, which will strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in areas such as trade, business, investment and tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Tommy Kambu Kunji, Papua New Guinea's first representative to Taiwan, the ministry said in a statement.

It said the Republic of China government welcomes the Papua New Guinea government to set up a representative office in Taiwan and that the MOFA will work closely with the office to promote bilateral, reciprocal relations.

The ROC established a trade mission in Papua New Guinea in 1990.

Bilateral trade volume exceeded US$100 million for the first time in 2010 to reach US$123 million, before increasing to US$366 million in 2013 and rose further to US$900 million in 2014, according to the MOFA.

Papua New Guinea is one of the major fishing grounds for Taiwan's deep-sea fishermen in the Pacific Ocean. The number of Taiwanese fishing vessels that operate regularly in Papua New Guinea waters averages 31, with Taiwan's fishing sector having invested an estimated US$100 million there, the MOFA said.

It said Papua New Guinea is rich in natural gas. Taiwan's state-run oil refiner CPC Corporation signed a 20-year contract with Papua New Guinea in 2010 to purchase 1.2 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from the country.

Papua New Guinea is the fifth country to set up a representative office in Taiwan since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, the MOFA said.

The other four nations are Tuvalu, Kiribati, St. Lucia and Myanmar.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Y.F. Low)