The decision by China's leading telecommunications company, Huawei Technologies, to invest in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a demonstration of confidence in the Pacific island country's economy, a leading PNG daily reported on Wednesday.
PNG's Prime Minister Michael Somare said this after visiting the company during his recent trip to China, The National newspaper reported.
Somare said telecommunications involved cutting-edge technology and required high capital costs. Therefore, the decision by Huaweito enter into a partnership with Telikom PNG to improve its telecommunications infrastructure was very much appreciated, he said.
Huawei, set up in 1988, is said to be the third-largest telecommunications company in the world.
It is a high-tech enterprise that specializes in research and development (R&D), production and marketing of communications equipment, and providing customized network solutions for telecom carriers in optical, fixed, mobile and data communication networks.
"I am aware that Huawei had earlier signed a three-year arrangement with Telikom PNG worth around 3 million U.S. dollars to improve the microwave transmission system in the country," Somare said.
"I also witnessed the signing of an MoU in Beijing last Wednesday between our secretary for Information and Communication, Henao Iduhu, and Huawei to further develop our own integrated Government information system (IGIS)," he added.
Somare said once it became operational, the IGIS, or e-government, would enable better planning and monitoring in the public service, which would lead to better delivery of services.
The IGIS would involve the online linking and integration of government services that include passport and visa application, tax and medical rebates, vehicle registration and public transport co-ordination.