By HELEN TARAWA
The first of the many Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings is 46 days away and the security partners working group (SPWG) is arriving at crunch time, co-chair and leader of the Australian delegation, Geoff Tooth says.
Speaking at a brief press conference in Port Moresby yesterday, Tooth said SPWG was working hard to ensure all systems were in place.
He said Australia was very keen to continue its engagement to build Papua New Guinea to make the meetings possible.
“We’re PNG’s number one neighbour and have a strong interest in so many parts of PNG, our investment or trading relationships,” Tooth said.
“There is nothing unusual about Apec economics working with host countries on their preparations, this happens everywhere including Australia.
He said the SPWG meetings were put on hold during the elections and with the first Apec meeting nearing, the team had to get back to work.
Director-general of Apec Authority and chairman of the Apec board Sir Charles Lepani said this would be Papua New Guinea’s first experience in a major event and it was important to involve friends who had experience.
“Apec is going to be the largest most important event for us to host and we are grateful to our close neighbours and friends,” Sir Charles said.
“Their participation in security and logistics areas is important in organising Apec and all the other economies that are involved.”