BY ELENOA BASELALA
PNG's FOREIGN MINISTER, Don Polye, in Suva for Melanesian Spearhead Group talks, says it’s important that Fiji remains fully involved in regional trade and economic discussions despite its political scrap with Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Polye says from what he sees in Fiji, people are happy, tourism is thriving and investment is growing.
He believes excluding Fiji from discussions around trade frameworks is counter-productive in efforts for growth.
“PNG cannot be influenced by Australia or New Zealand or any other countries,” he said. “Melanesian people, we make decisions based on our own values and traditions and its the councils that influence that decision making.”
Mr Polye also said that larger Pacific economies like PNG and Fiji should negotiate agreements with the European Union.
He said the MSG meeting discussed issues that will promote the influence of the five-nation bloc in the Pacific region.
Apart from trade and investment, the leaders also discussed labour mobility as well as strengthening traditions, cultures and values through social activities, including a revival of the Melanesian Games.
Sources: The Fiji Times and Radio New Zealand International