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Bainimarama, O’Neill Set For Bilateral Talks Today

Bainimarama, O’Neill Set For Bilateral Talks Today
The real-time rehearsal yesterday by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces at the Nausori International Airport on July 7, 2018, for Papua New Guinea Prime Minister O’Neill’s arrival today. Photo: Ashna Kumar
July 08
10:54 2018

Trade and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting this year are expected to be discussed when Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Papua New Guinea (PNG) counterpart, Peter O’Neill, hold bilateral talks in Suva today.

This is after Mr O’Neill arrives in the country at Nausori International Airport this afternoon for his first official visit here since being elected Prime Minister in 2012.

The talks will be held straight after traditional iTaukei ceremonies of welcome are performed by officers and soldiers of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) at the Britannia Room of the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH).

Mr O’Neill heads a seven-member delegation.

Fiji and PNG had been locked in a so-called trade dispute.

The dispute over the commercial importation of PNG products Ox and Palm Corned Beef, Trukai Rice and Lae biscuits into Fiji, ended with Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya announcing in March last year that the pathway was open, even for commercial shipments.

The move came in the wake of discussions with the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji.

When contacted for a comment last night ahead of today’s meeting, Mr Koya said there were no problems in terms of Fiji-PNG trade.

“Fiji trade with PNG has no issues or problems at all,” he said.

“It (balance of trade) has always been in our favour, in Fiji’s favour, but that is not the way we look at it.

“We are trading partners, we are good neighbours.”

The RFMF will mount a 50-person guard of honour for PM O’Neill when he touches down at the Nausori Airport at 4pm today on board the PNG Government executive jet P2 ANW (Falcon).

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Jiko Luveni, yesterday confirmed to the Fiji Sun that PM O’Neill would address Parliament tomorrow on the progress of preparations by his government for the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby in November.

Later tomorrow Mr O’Neill will give the keynote address at a public lecture at the University of the South Pacific’s Japan-Pacific ICT Multi-purpose theatre on Pacific regionalism.

Other programmes for Mr O’Neill’s visit include a visit to the Fiji Police Special Response Unit on Tuesday to showcase the anti-riot capability of the Fiji Police Force and a lunch hosted by the Fiji-PNG Business Council.

Mr O’Neill leaves the country for Australia at 1pm on Tuesday, July 10.

Yesterday there was a real-time rehearsal for Mr O’Neill’s arrival with the RFMF Band at Nausori International Airport.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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