Manila, Philippines (BBN) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping Papua New Guinea (PNG) explore ways to improve trade and investment relations with Indonesia through its border town of Vanimo in West Sepik province.

The Japan Special Fund, administered by ADB, is providing a US$900,000 grant for PNG to prepare the Pilot Border Trade and Investment Development Project. PNG government will contribute another $90,000 to the project, an ADB press statement said on Monday.

The project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) will design an assistance package for PNG to develop West Sepik province, one of its least developed provinces.

The project will focus on creating a business environment conducive to trade and investment for the border town of Vanimo. Key activities include identifying and designing vital border facilities, preparing roadmaps for trade and investment, developing a one-stop-shop to promote trade and investment, and building capacity.

The Pilot Border Trade and Investment Development Project is the first initiative promoting regional cooperation between PNG and Indonesia, in line with ADB’s Long-Term Strategy Framework (2008-2020) which recognizes regional cooperation and integration as critical ingredients for development and poverty reduction, according to the statement.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-06October08-1:15 PM (BST)