The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hawaii continues to place a major focus on the Pacific and Asian region as the world looks for future direction.
For the past three years following the global financial crisis, the nations of the world have taken a very keen interest in the opportunities which are apparent in the emerging nations of the South Pacific, particularly PNG.
The significant commitment by major Asian economies to work with PNG industries did not go unnoticed by the Apec countries, especially the United States who was the hosts of this year’s gathering.
The US have been keen to upgrade their representation in the South Pacific region and recently established a trade office in Port Moresby.
The major energy and resources development projects which are now being rolled out in PNG have clearly placed the nation’s potential on the world stage.
Contractors from all parts of the world are involved in supplying the vast engineering, technical and transport resources for the LNG project along with the development needs of new mining and resources projects which are now taking shape in various parts of our nation.
The message has been strong that as an emerging nation, PNG continues to provide a stable economic base for development in the region, a feature of its government which has been focused on encouraging long term investment for the benefit of future generations.
The Apec conference reinforced and built on the strong relationships which have been a feature
of PNG’s growth during the past decade, particularly from the major growth nations in Asia.
For example, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak held a summit with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on Saturday, pledging to bolster energy and resources cooperation combining South Korean technologies and the South Pacific nation’s rich resources.
This was just one of many sideline meetings aimed at discussing ways to spur the global economy, create jobs, reform regulations and improve energy efficiency and security.
During the meeting with O’Neill, Lee asked for support for South Korean firms operating in PNG, noting that trade between the two countries has been on a steady rise since they established diplomatic relations in 1976.
O’Neill said that South Korean firms’ participation in major infrastructure construction, such as roads, dams and power plants, had contributed to the development of Papua New Guinea, and said the country would continue to co-operate with South Korean firms, he said.
O’Neill expressed gratitude for South Korea’s efforts to help PNG and other Pacific island nations with their social and economic development, while hoping to learn from Seoul’s economic development experience and know-how.
They also agreed to work together for the success of the upcoming meeting of the high level world conference on development assistance on aid effectiveness to be held in South Korea’s second largest city of Busan later this month.