Indonesia to reopen Papua New Guinea borders

Borders
President Joko Widodo and PM Papua New Guinea, PM James Marape - IST

Jakarta, Jubi – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has conveyed Indonesia’s plan to reopen border posts in Papua New Guinea to increase trade between the two countries, especially in cross-border areas.

“Indonesia is ready to reopen the border in Papua New Guinea to restore cross-border trade and the economic of the people living in border areas,” said Jokowi in a press conference after receiving an official visit from Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

The President said his meeting with PM James Marape took place in a friendly and productive atmosphere. The two leaders discussed efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields and exchanged views on cooperation in the Pacific region.

In the trade sector, Jokowi welcomed efforts to increase trade between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In 2021, the trade value between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea was increased by 87 percent compared to 2020, or higher than the trade value before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jokowi was also confident about the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and increase trade opportunities through the reopening of the Indonesia-PNG border at Skouw Wutung, Muaratami District, Jayapura City.

“I’m also glad about the launch of a feasibility study for the establishment of a preferential trade agreement between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea,” Jokowi added, as quoted by Antara.

Meanwhile, PM James Marape expressed his gratitude to President Jokowi and the ministers of the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet, who had held a welcoming ceremony even though it was on short notice.

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“We would also like to invite the Indonesian government to visit Port Moresby next year so that we can hold our annual bilateral meeting there,” said Marape. (*)

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