Around the world: why all those visits to Papua New Guinea from Australia? and other international stories


World 01Just what has prompted the recent spate of diplomatic visits from Australia to PNG?

‘A belated recognition of PNG’s growing economic importance to Australia,’ suggests Jenny Hayward-Jones on the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter blog, in her assessment of the state of the bilateral relationship.

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PNG’s commercial ties with giant western neighbor Indonesia represent a tremendous untapped opportunity but a flurry of activity seems to indicate that PNG is finally on Indonesia’s radar. The Jakarta Post reports that the two governments are ‘sounding out the possibility of joint investments in energy and mineral resources at the border of the two countries’, as PNG PM Peter O’Neill prepares to visit Jakarta next month. Meanwhile, the Indonesian state oil company Pertamina is apparently showing interest in Interoil’s PNG operations.

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A little further east, Vanuatu’s first non-indigenous Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil gives a very interesting interview to Radio Australia’s Sean Dorney on how he is challenging the status quo.

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