$5m for PNG PM’s one-day state visit to Jakarta

PNG Prime Minister James Marape. Photo: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape this week leads a 71-member delegation to Jakarta, Indonesia today in what could be his last state visit.

Marape and his large delegation will spend 24-hours in Indonesia, in a trip that will cost the country about K5 million (US$1.4 million).

The big group is made up of nine ministers, one vice minister, five governors, four MPs, 15 senior government officials and heads of SOEs, 15 other government officials and 20 business executives. However there has been some criticism of the size of the delegation.

The politicians are Minister for Foreign Affairs Soroi Eoe, State Enterprise Minister William Duma, Works Minister Michael Nali, Tourism Minister Isi Henry Leonard, Civil Aviation Minister Walter Schnaubelt, Forest Minister Solan Mirisim, Lands Minister John Rosso, Police Minister William Onglo, Vice Minister for Public Service Salio Waipo, Governor for Wset Sepik Tony Wouwou, Regional MP for Bougainville Peter Tsiamalili Jr, Central Province Governor Robert Agorobe, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Western Province Governor Toboi Yoto, Member for Bogia Robert Naguri, MP for Nawaeb Kennedy Wenge and Member for Menyamya Benjamin Philip.

Departmental heads and SOE directors include Police Commissioner David Manning, Elias Wohengu, Stanis Hulahau, Dairi Vele, David Towe, Augustine Mano, Obed Batia, Frank Aisi, Professor David Kavanamur, Terence Frawley, Clarence Hoot, John Kuwimb and Dr Philip Mitna.

The business contingent is led by Sir Kostas Constantinou, Larry Andagali, James Wong and Chey Scovell and John Leahy to name a few.

The group left for Jakarta on a chartered Air Niugini flight, overnight and return on Friday 1 April.

In Jakarta, they are expected to have meetings with business houses in Indonesia, and make a courtesy call on the Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other vital business meetings.

The Indonesian government confirmed Marape and his entourage will travel to the country and will leave a day before the country begins its observance of Ramadan.

On 22 March in Parliament, Opposition leader Belden Namah raised concerns about the government’s plans to travel to Indonesia after numerous reports of PNG’s foreign missions struggling to operate – including the Jakarta mission.

Namah asked Marape how the trip was being facilitated with the mission being virtually closed.

Marape stressed that the agenda for the trip was potential for trade and economic opportunities.

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