The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has concluded a series of high level meetings with Government Officials in the State of Qatar, from which he anticipates will come greater technical co-operation and investment from a country that has transitioned into the LNG market as is the current experience of Papua New Guinea.
Following meetings with Qatar’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and other senior Government Officials, while on his return from the APEC Summit in Viet Nam, Prime Minister O’Neill said the key outcome of the visit is a further demonstration of the urgent need for Papua New Guinea to properly diversify the Nation’s economic base.
“We have been talking about diversifying our economy to maximise gains for some time, and now is the time to act so we can build our key sectors into the future,” the Prime Minister said at the meetings in Doha.
“There is great potential for creating thousands of new jobs, establishing new skills and stimulating small business.
“From humble beginnings, Qatar has diversified its economic base better than most resource-focused economies around the world.
“While oil and gas remain the cornerstone of its economy, Qatar has made inroads into downstream processing and other energy related fields.
“Qatar has also leveraged its resources boom to expand the tourism sector, and made substantial investment in agriculture around the world.
“The perspective from our engagement in Qatar is clear, that we have to not only get the most from expanding our LNG production, but we have to utilise these gains to diversify production and jobs in our economy.”
The Prime Minister said following the visit this week, a delegation from Kumul Consolidated Holdings, as well as other Government agencies and private sector representatives, will meet with officials in Qatar.
“The Qatar Prime Minister and I have agreed that we will bring together a joint forum to look at capacity building and investment opportunities between Papua New Guinea and Qatar.
“As an emerging economy, Papua New Guinea must take advantage of new opportunities to expand the economy. Importantly we must move beyond the boom-and-bust cycles that comes with dependency on global energy prices.
“In doing so we will draw on the experience and capacity building opportunities from countries like Qatar, and our other partners around the world.
“I look forward to tangible outcomes from the discussions that have taken place over the past two days, and delivering additional policy initiatives to work with the private sector.
“I thank the Prime Minister of Qatar, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, for his invitation for Papua New Guinea to undertake an Official Visit to his country.”
Photo: Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, meeting with Qatar Prime Minister, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, meeting in Doha on Tuesday.