PM keen for more trade discussions


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will enter into discussions with his 20 counterpart Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders on how the region will deal with the impact of slowing global trade and other issues such as enhancing skills development in a digital age.
As he prepares for his arrival in Lima, Peru today, O’Neill said Apec was the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific for advancing trade, creating jobs and sharing skills and technical knowledge around the region.
“The place where we have the greatest opportunity to sell our products and attract investment is the Asia-Pacific region,” O’Neill said.
“The Apec Region accounts for half of global trade and 40 per cent of the world’s population and consumer market.
“The opportunities that we have before us through Apec are great, and our engagement in Apec affects every man, woman and child in Papua New Guinea.
“There is not an economic sector in our country that is not relevant to the Apec policy and development agenda.
“Through the breaking down of trade barriers through Apec we sell our farm products, fish and mineral resources to the largest economic region in the world. As an Apec member we also have access to technical information, data and skills training relevant to key areas for our economy.  For us this is includes agriculture, marine resources, tourism and SMEs, and many more sectors.
“This helps us to produce more efficiently and to be more competitive.”
The prime minister said the agenda for the Apec meetings in Peru will involve discussion with global business leaders and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, followed by substantive discussions on key issues confronting the nation and the region.
“I will speak at the CEO summit on the issue of pathways to sustainable development that for Papua New Guinea involves broadening our economic base, and delivering key services of our people including healthcare and education,” O’Neill said.
“There is interest in Papua New Guinea’s experience in the current global economy, and we have a lot to learn from countries that have been through similar challenges.
“Through the Apec business advisory council I will raise and discuss issues including how we can stimulate innovation in small business, promote the health of our workforce and facilitate the development of the mining sector including downstream processing.”

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