New aid pact between Australia and PNG

6:11 pm on 3 March 2016

A new aid pact between Australia and Papua New Guinea aims to reduce poverty and ramp up economic growth.

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

Ministers from both nations met in Canberra on Thursday where they also discussed regional security, including combating people smuggling, and close defence and police ties.

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said the new aid partnership would address family and sexual violence issues, and enable more women to break the poverty cycle.

PNG is Australia's largest aid recipient, receiving more than $500 million in total assistance each year.

Ms Bishop said a focus on aid for trade would improve PNG businesses' capacity to enter global export markets.

Her PNG counterpart Rimbink Pato said the meeting would also look at ways to strengthen people-to-people links.

The PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill also addressed the National Press Club in Canberra today.