The outgoing Resident High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Sushil Kumar Singhal paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Hon. James Marape at the Sir Manasupe Haus recently.
Mr Singhal has successfully completed his two years tour of duty as the High Commissioner of India to PNG.
Prime Minister Marape , when farewelling Mr Singhal, said both countries have excellent bilateral relations, and requested that the High Commissioner also act as an advocate for PNG in India, in terms of promoting the country as an investment destination for Indian businesses.
Mr Marape further expressed his gratitude to the Government of India for extending credit of USD 100 million (K331,016, 219. 79 ) for various infrastructure projects which is yet to be successfully drawn down by the Department of Treasury.
Meanwhile, Mr Marape has also requested assistance on biometric technology to be availed to the PNG Electoral Commission, to assist in PNG’s election processes and procedures.
“ This will help minimise challenges associated with electoral fraud and double voting,” Mr Marape added.
The Prime Minister also requested for the Indian Government to expand the existing military training in India to include medical training for Papua New Guinea Medical Students as well.
Prime Minister Marape also initiated the creation of a travel bubble with India, aimed at promoting the continuity of economic, political, business and trade and investment between both countries.
Mr Singhal in response said he would encourage his successor to work closely with the PNG Government to address those issues discussed.
Mr Singhal also raised concerns on visa on arrival for Indian nationals entering PNG which he claims has not been applied on a reciprocal basis as per the Visa Agreement between the Government of Papua New Guinea and India.
Another concern raised was the COVID-19 restrictions which apply to India visitors coming into PNG.