Rudd talks up trade with PNG

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has invited Papua New Guinea to tell him what Australia needs to do to improve business relations between the two countries.
Mr Rudd is in PNG for trade, law and order, and immigration talks with his counterpart, Peter O'Neill.
At a breakfast at Port Moresby's Grand Papua Hotel on Monday, Mr Rudd told business leaders newly appointed Trade Minister Richard Marles was a "Pacific man" who knew the region.
"Richard has a passion for PNG," he said.
"The reason for this gathering is to make sure that we're doing all we can to make sure the trade and investment relationship with PNG is reaching its full potential.
"I want you all to know what priority I attach to that in (Mr Marles') work."
Mr Marles was parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island affairs before Mr Rudd's aborted tilt for the prime ministership in March.
He was made trade minister when Mr Rudd regained the prime ministership last month.
Trade between Australia and PNG, it's closest neighbour, is approximately $7 billion a year.
Mr Rudd will later hold talks with Mr O'Neill before attending a lunch at PNG's Parliament House before departing for Australia.


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