Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister has had talks with China about establishing a free trade agreement between the two countries.
Rimbink Pato has completed a visit to Beijing where he had discussions with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, RNZI reports.
Mr Pato has told PNG media that as a result of their talks, China has agreed to pursue a free trade deal and will do a feasibility study.
Plans for the feasibility study, and a related Memorandum of Understanding are expected to be signed later this year between the two governments.
This would take place in November when China’s president Xi Jinping visits PNG for the APEC leader’s summit.
According to Mr Pato, Minister Wang Yi would travel to PNG in October to prepare for the signing.
In addition to the free trade idea, the two foreign ministers discussed a number of matters including visa fee waiver for government officials and diplomats in China and PNG.
Mr Pato also pushed Beijing on whether it could soon facilitate Air Niugini’s direct flights into Shanghai.