PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the opening of discussions with Qatar to initiate co-operation opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

Taking part in a two-day Official Visit to the State of Qatar, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Qatar, the Prime Minister said now is the time to work with more partners in the global community to strengthen key sectors of the economy.

Meeting with Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, in Doha, PM O’Neill said there are several opportunities that the two countries will pursue in the coming months.

“Qatar has an economy that shares several economic synergies with Papua New Guinea, particularly in the oil and gas sector,” PM O’Neill said from Doha.

“Over the past decade, they have built a leading presence in the LNG sector and works with several of the same companies as Papua New Guinea.

“While both of our countries are active in the market, there are opportunities to work together on technical issues, and there is the potential for investment.

“As our country prepares for the next LNG project, it is important for us to work with other countries and gain from their experience, as well as strengthen our collective positions.”

“We need to be proactive in attracting foreign investment, as well as strengthening our technical capacity and skill levels.

“Qatar has made substantial investments in several countries around the world and is looking at further expansion.

“We will maintain a dialogue with the Qatar Government and relevant agencies as we explore the potential for investment and technical co-operation.”

While in Doha, the Prime Minister also met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Qatar, Abdula Mohamad Al-Thani.

“As Qatar has expanded its oil and gas exports, it has also introduced a number of reforms in their financial sector, including enhancements in monetary and fiscal policy development.

“There are lessons to be gained from engagement between the banking sectors in our two countries.  Our technical teams will now engage to consider options moving forward.”