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Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Prime Minister O’Neill, it is an honor to be with you here in Papua New Guinea for this historic announcement.  And it is my great honor, on behalf on President Donald Trump, to join with Prime Minister Abe, Prime Minister Morrison, and Prime Minister Ardern in announcing the Papua New Guinea Electrification Partnership that will bring electricity to 70 percent of the people of Papua New Guinea by the year 2030.

Mr. Prime Minister, that is an extraordinary commitment on your part.  It’s a reflection of your leadership.  And I trust the people of Papua New Guinea see it as evidence of a strong commitment of the nations represented here, including the United States of America, to a brighter future for Papua New Guinea.

Last year, President Trump laid out a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.  And the commitment of the United States of America to this region of the world has never been stronger.

And we trust that this announcement today, and the part of the United States of America in this joint announcement, is proof that America and our businesses are investing in this region as never before.  This is actually the very first project under the development cooperation agreement which the United States forged with Japan and Australia last week.  And we’re honored to be joined by New Zealand in bringing the expertise of our businesses and helping to deliver on your promise to bring electrification to 70 percent of your country by the end of this decade.

It is remarkable to think of the impact this will have on people’s lives all across this nation.  Electricity will drive economic growth.  But as others have said, it will simply improve the quality of life for people all across Papua New Guinea for generations to come.  And the people of the United States of America are honored to partner with you.

This is a historic project.  And — but be assured to my — our allies gathered here and friends all across this region, that the United States of America is going to continue to work in ways that we can build a brighter future, not just here in Papua New Guinea, but all across the Indo-Pacific for all of our people.

So congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister.  And to all of the leaders gathered here, it is an honor to work with you to advance the future and the opportunities of the people of Papua New Guinea.  Thank you.  (Applause.)