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PM backs PNG in trade deal

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By HELEN TARAWA in Da Nang, Vietnam
PAPUA New Guinea is well placed in the region to participate in the bilateral trade agreement with the 11 nations forming the Trans Pacific Partnership, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
He told the Apec Leaders’ summit in Da Nang, Veitnam, that the country was easily accessible to markets in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“PNG is an emerging economy and one of the fastest growing in the region, averaging about 6 per cent in the past 15 years,” he said.
He said Malaysia, Australia, Japan and the United States were “big investors in PNG”.
“There are good opportunities for companies and countries to invest in our country,” O’Neill said.
“Our sectors energy and mining industries are among some of the global deposit reserves and that gives them that opportunity to invest in.
“We are also located in the region where we are very easily accessible to the markets in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia where there is a large population demanding our resources.”
On security, O’Neill said: “When we discuss security in the region, it is always related to the trade and investments that are falling within our economies.”
He said security was crucial to ensure there was stability in trading and investment opportunities.
“There must be continuing dialogue between all parties. Continuous stand-offs and threats against each other do not help in investment opportunities in the region,” O’Neill said.
“The Asia-Pacific is a strong growth area for the world economy so we must manage security issues by having more dialogue with each other.”

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