28 Oct 2003

Malaysia offers investment advisors to work in PNG

11:49 am on 28 October 2003

Malaysia has offered to loan Papua New Guinea investment advisors to work in the manufacturing, mining, petroleum and fishing sectors.

The Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohammed, with an entourage of nearly a 100 spent the weekend in PNG.

Malaysia's offer of help comes soon after the row with Australia over aid and that country's commitment, in principle, to provide additional police and civil service assistance as our Port Moresby correspondent, Peter Niesi reports.

"Critics will say that yes, it would trigger off further debate along those lines, but I think where the PNG government is coming from, is in trying to move away from just strictly aid dependence to improving the economic state of the country through trade."

Peter Niesi says PNG wants Malaysia to help it broaden its economic base and bring more foreign funds into the country.

He says by contrast, Australia's efforts are focussed on improving governance.