Indian Business Delegation Visits Papua New Guinea To Improve Bilateral Ties

Indian Business Delegation The third Forum for Indo-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit was held in Port Moresby, to promote collaboration between India and the 14 Pacific island nations.

Hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the summit aimed to improve bilateral ties, and was attended by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea – James Marape, and several governors and cabinet ministers including the Minister for Internal Security and the Minister for Information & Communication Technology. This was the first time an Indian Prime Minister visited the island nation.

Krupesh Bhat, the founder of SignDesk, was among the business delegation and held fruitful discussions with officials about the potential for Public-Private partnerships in the region, and building digital infrastructure to help strengthen economic development. The discussions revolved around developing the country’s agriculture, energy & transportation sectors through mechanization and automation.

Prime Minister James Marape met the delegation in Port Moresby and expressed enthusiasm about furthering ties with India & emphasized the cultural similarities between the two nations. He went on to state the importance of Indian technology in helping Papua New Guinea modernize its economy and looked forward to creating pathways for Indian businesses to work closely with government bodies and private entities in the island nation.

The summit is a crucial stepping stone toward bolstering ties between India and Papua New Guinea and developing a business-friendly ecosystem to share technology & encourage investment.

Regarding the summit, Krupesh Bhat said – “This marks a new chapter in the relationship between the two nations. Papua New Guinea is a promising market for Indian businesses in IT, Agritech, Pharmaceuticals & healthcare. The opportunities to build digital capabilities are huge, and the government’s stance is extremely conducive to fostering partnerships centered around innovation. SignDesk is excited about working closely with our partners in the region and making inroads into markets in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Solomon Islands & other pacific island nations, with an aim to bring intelligent automation technology to businesses and citizens.”

Papua New Guinea’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2023 with petroleum, cobalt, copper & natural gas accounting for 72% of export earnings and agriculture making up 25% of overall GDP. Today, unexplored areas for development include LPG extraction & mining, which have been limited due to a lack of infrastructure. Agriculture, including marine aquaculture, is also a promising segment due to strong commodity pricing & resource-rich ecosystems.

India is in a strategic position to collaborate with Papua New Guinea for sustainable development as its traditional trading partners Australia & New Zealand take a back seat, and the country tries to shift away from dependence on Chinese capital.

Avenues & opportunities for Indian investment in Papua New Guinea are growing and the country looks to be the destination for India to rekindle & strengthen its relationships in the East-Pacific.

The Indian business delegation was represented by Ramakrishna Reddy, the President of the Africa Trade Council of India & Dr. Utkarsha Lokesh, president of the UAE-Asia Chamber of Commerce; and is set to take forward an agenda of collaboration