Australia

PNG won’t be economically dependent on Australia in a decade, PM vows

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Papua New Guinea wants to be economically independent from Australia within a decade.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he wants his nation to move away from an "aid-donor" relationship with Australia.

"I don't envisage this type of aid donor, recipient relationship to last, in fact within the next 10 years I want my country to grow into economic self-reliance and independence," Mr Marape said during a speech in Sydney on Thursday night.

PNG receives more than half a billion dollars in aid from Australia each year.

Mr Marape's speech comes days after Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced another $250 million in grants and low-interest loans to help PNG connect 70 per cent of its country to electricity by 2030.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, July 22, 2019. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape at Parliament House in Canberra.
AAP

The new PNG prime minister arrived in Australia on Sunday for a six-day visit after taking over from Peter O'Neill in May.

During Thursday's speech in Sydney, Mr Marape reiterated his pledge to make PNG the world's "richest black Christian nation".

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape and wife Rachel Marape arrive at Canberra.
Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape and wife Rachel Marape arrive at Canberra.
AAP

"For too long we have allowed external forces to dictate the direction that we take, but this will now change," he said.

"We will move from an introduced culture of dependency and complacency, where we rely on overseas aid and inward investment alone, to one where we become a vibrant economic powerhouse and are totally economically independent."

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