As an emerging Pacific Island state, Bougainville will work towards building mutual government relationships that will enhance trust, trade and investment
| Bougainville News
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government continues to make headway with its strategy to make practical the people’s 97.7% vote for Independence in 2019.
The Bougainville Independence Mission, launched by president Ishmael Toroama in April 2021, marked the beginning of the implementation of a Trident Strategy to prepare Bougainville for independence.
Under the Trident Strategy, the first prong covers independence-ready preparations within Bougainville by Bougainvilleans, the second prong covers independence-ready preparations within Papua New Guinea, and the third prong, which has just been launched, focuses on independence-ready preparations internationally.
The international effort was launched with the theme ‘Promoting Bougainville’s Global Trade & Investment’ and aims to establish support for Bougainville’s independence through enhanced trade and investment relations.
Speaking at the launch, vice-president and commerce minister Patrick Nisira explained that, under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the ABG is able to pursue global opportunities in concurrence with the PNG government’s foreign affairs department.
“There are provisions for ABG to have observer status on various trade and investment platforms at the international frontier,” he said.
“As we reach out to the international frontier, our focus must be on growing the Bougainville economy and attaining fiscal self-reliance through international trade and sound investments.”
A number of key tasks will support implementation of the international prong:
- Set-up of a Bougainville Desk under the National Department of Foreign Affairs
- Set-up of a Bougainville Desk at the National Trade Office
- Collaboration with the PNG Overseas Missions
- A Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate Trade and Economic Integration
- Requesting for observer status on various forums like the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Melanesian Spearhead Group, EU Economic Partnership Agreement with PNG and APEC plus others.
Nisira reiterated that Bougainvilleans must understand that Bougainville is part of a bigger global village and cannot exist on its own.
However the government through the international strategy, will work towards building mutual relationships and trust through government-to-government relationships that will enhance trade and investment for Bougainville as an emerging island state in the Pacific.
Minister Nisira also appealed strongly to the people of Bougainville as the resource owners to work closely with the government.
“I appeal to the people of Bougainville especially the resource owners to work closely with my Ministry, Department and the Toroama-Nisira government to prepare ourselves to release the resources for development to have maximum benefits and equitable distribution of wealth with the investors, the state and the resource owners,” he said.
“Let me also inform Bougainvilleans that as we embark on the international prong through trade and investment, we must be responsible citizens. We must fix our law-and-order issues to provide a conducive environment for investment and trade to flourish,” Nisira added.