Apec delegates meeting to build more bridges for positive change


Senior Officials from the Asia-pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member economies will be in the country next month to detail their priority areas of cooperation during Papua New Guinea’s inaugural Apec chairmanship next year.
The proceedings will set the stage for Apec economies to follow through on their Leaders’ commitment to work towards a successful World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires on Dec 10-13.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had said earlier: “Apec needs to keep building a bridge to ensure that people, both in developed and developing economies, are empowered to take advantage of the positives of globalisation, so they can be a part of positive change.”
Papua New Guinea is home to more than eight million people and a gateway to the Pacific Islands.
“As an emerging economy, we are coming out of a very traditional society into a modern economy in a space of one generation, which gives us great challenges and also opportunity,” O’Neill said.
“Our aim is to build the technology infrastructure that will give people the opportunity to participate in the global market, through employment and business opportunities.
Addressing climate change and its effects on lives and livelihoods across Apec and neighbouring islands will be a complementary focus.
“There are real challenges before all Apec economies in dealing with climate change,” O’Neill said.
“In Papua New Guinea, we have the world’s first climate change refugees, people who were displaced from their traditional land because of rising sea levels. We must address the causes of climate change and also strengthen defences against extreme weather.”