International Coffee Conference
Enhancing Coffee Connections: The Papua New Guinea Delegation’s Productive Visit to India
In a significant step towards strengthening international trade relations, a 14-member delegation from Papua New Guinea (PNG) recently visited India. Comprising the Coffee Minister, coffee exporters, coffee growers, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PNG, the delegation’s primary objective was to explore potential collaborations and partnerships in the coffee industry. Hosted by the Indian Economic Trade Organization (IETO) in Bangalore during the Coffee Expo, the delegation engaged in fruitful discussions centred around importing PNG’s renowned coffee into India.
PNG Coffee: A World-Class Delight
Papua New Guinea is globally acclaimed for producing some of the finest coffees in the world. The country’s unique climate and rich soil contribute to the distinctive flavour profile of PNG coffee, making it a favourite among coffee connoisseurs. The PNG delegation brought samples of their exceptional coffee, and to no surprise, these samples were quickly savoured and appreciated by the attendees.
Partnerships and Collaborations: IETO Takes the Lead
During the discussions at the Coffee Expo, the President of IETO, Dr. Asif Iqbal, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are delighted to host the Papua New Guinea delegation in India. The quality of PNG coffee is exceptional, and we see immense potential in introducing it to the Indian market. Our discussions have been fruitful, and we are keen to explore avenues for importing PNG coffee into India.”
Revamping Trade Policies for Mutual Benefit
One of the significant outcomes of the meeting was the discussion regarding revising import duties on PNG coffee. Mr. Joe Kuli, the Minister of Coffee from PNG, shared his thoughts, “It is crucial for both nations to work together in reshaping trade policies. Lowering import duties on PNG coffee will not only benefit India by having access to our high-quality product but also boost our coffee industry back home.“
A Vision Beyond Borders: PNG Coffee in ASEAN and the Middle East
IETO and the PNG delegation also explored the prospect of taking PNG coffee to other parts of the ASEAN region and the Middle East. Dr. Asif Iqbal expressed his optimism, saying, “Expanding the reach of PNG coffee in the ASEAN countries and the Middle East is a strategic move. We are committed to working closely with the Ministry of Coffee in PNG to facilitate this expansion, creating a win-win situation for all involved parties.“
High Commissioner’s Perspective: Building Diplomatic Bridges
His Excellency Mr. Paulias Korni, the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea, emphasized the significance of such collaborations in building strong diplomatic ties, stating, “Beyond the economic benefits, partnerships like these foster mutual understanding and respect between nations. This visit marks a step towards a deeper, more meaningful relationship between Papua New Guinea and India.“
The visit of the Papua New Guinea delegation to India, particularly during the Coffee Expo in Bangalore, marks a pivotal moment in the bilateral relations between the two countries. The discussions held and agreements made reflect the shared commitment to fostering trade partnerships and enhancing cultural exchanges. As both nations look forward to a future filled with flavourful collaborations, the PNG-India coffee connection stands as a testament to the power of international cooperation and mutual respect.
India-Pacific Islands Chamber of Commerce is a grouping developed for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations which include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
India hosted the heads of 14 island nations at the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC), in what was seen as a first step towards greater engagement with the region, which is important from an economic and geostrategic standpoint and is expected to pave the way for agreements in agriculture, food processing, fisheries, solar energy, e-networks for coordination in telemedicine and tele-education, space cooperation and climate change, all of which were mentioned as areas of potential cooperation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Fiji in 2014.
He had set the ball rolling for reinforcing ties with the island nations by announcing visa on arrival for their nationals, funds for small business, line of credit for a co-generation power plant for Fiji, and a special adaptation fund for technical assistance and capacity building for countering global warming.