PORT MORESBY(Papua New Guinea): India has offered USD 100 million Line of Credit to Papua New Guinea for financing infrastructure projects and also providing medicines to 20,000 HIV AIDS patients. In return, PNG has agreed to provide visa on arrival for Indian tourists visiting the island nation. On an average, 40,000 Indian tourists visit PNG every year.
President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a two day state visit to the Island nation on Thursday announced the government decision to provide medicines to people suffering from HIV AIDS, Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) Ministry of External Affairs told mediapersons on Thursday night. High prevalence of HIV AIDS is a major concern in PNG.
The MEA officer said government of India and PNG will work closely in healthcare sector to help people in PNG. During his interactions with senior leaders from PNG, the President has made it clear that assistance that India is offering is demand driven, she said.
On the Line of Credit provided to PNG, the officer said it will be used for financing infrastructure projects and construction of a court building. To enhance bilateral trade, both sides are working on Bilateral Investment Promotion Agreement (BIPA) and Double Taxes Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
The MEA officer termed President’s visit to PNG as ``historic and landmark ‘’ development in enhancing India’s relations with pacific island nations. PNG is backing India’s claim for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, she added.