Australia and PNG extend digital connectivity cooperation

Australia and Papua New Guinea have extended a commitment to cooperate in Information and Communications Technology.

This week Australia and Papua New Guinea renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The MoU was signed for Australia by our Secretary, Mr Jim Betts, and by Mr Steven Matainaho, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for Papua New Guinea.

The MoU, which extends an earlier arrangement first signed in 2020, will see Australia and Papua New Guinea work collaboratively to enable the digital economy, ensure digital safety and build capacity for the ICT sector in Papua New Guinea.

The signing was witnessed by Mr Russel Woruba, Deputy Secretary, DICT, and Mr Richard Windeyer, Deputy Secretary in our department.

Under the MoU, Australia and Papua New Guinea plan to meet annually to discuss the telecommunications issues and priorities of each country. The MoU provides a framework for government agencies to work together and share hands-on experience to harness the benefits of digital connectivity.

To date, the MoU has supported engagement with our Papua New Guinean counterparts on telecommunications consumer protections, broadcasting/media, spectrum management and carrier licencing, among other issues.

Papua New Guinea has taken a lead role in the Pacific region in 2023 by reinvigorating discussions on shared ICT priorities. This has included hosting the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Policy and Regulatory Forum for Pacific, and the Pacific ICT Ministers’ Dialogue in August.

At the dialogue, Pacific ICT ministers signed the Lagatoi Declaration on Digital Transformation of the Pacific. Australia is a signatory to the declaration and is committed to supporting sustainable solutions to address telecommunication and ICT development needs in our region.