PM Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘Economic Bubble’ with Pacific Island Nations

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has called upon Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open

up an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of their interventions in the fight

against COVID-19.

The Prime Minister made this appeal during the 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM) that

was held virtually today.

He said at this stage, COVID-19 in as far as Pacific Islands are concerned, was not just a health

issue but an economic issue as well.

“In Papua New Guinea we recognize that COVID-19 has had a strong negative impact on our

economy,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“Speaking on behalf of my 14 other sister nations in the Pacific, especially those who are

dependent on tourism or external trade, dependent on fisheries, agriculture and the export of our

raw resources, who are totally exposed to the ravages and the damage COVID-19 is causing to our

local economies, so we need international trading and commerce for our economies to function.

“Papua New Guinea, having recognized the need for our economy to be functional, has elevated

our COVID-19 response by way of the passing of a specific Act of Parliament called the National

Pandemic Act that defines how we live, work, operate and trade.

“We have not closed our borders and we are still open for business to ensure our 10 million people

survive COVID-19.

“At this juncture, let me thank Japan for your continued interventions and interest in our small

Pacific Island nations. They are totally vulnerable and exposed to the contraction of the global

economy and the close of international borders.

“Therefore I ask for your continued presence in helping us, not just in the area of health but more

importantly, on how we can ensure trade and economy remains functional and relevant.”

Prime Minister Marape asked Japan, Australia and New Zealand to help the Pacific Island nations

keep their economies going, by operating in a specific trade and economic bubble so that our

countries’ economies can survive through these tough times

The Prime Minister further thanked the Prime Minister of Japan, Hon Yoshihide Suga for the help

Japan has given to the region and he also thanked Australia and New Zealand for their continued

support.