Envoy happy with Apec prep

Business

By HELEN TARAWA
Apec Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu says Papua New Guinea is continuing to progress with preparations for the event despite negative perceptions.
He told the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry members at yesterday’s Apec breakfast briefing that PNG was a small country hosting a significant global meeting.
Pomaleu said international and domestic perceptions would not stop until the event was over.
“By November 19, when leaders have come and gone and we’ve delivered a statement that they have signed, then we can take a breather,” he said.
“Until that date, we cannot rest.
“We certainly need to manage international expectations and domestic voices, people with high sense of priority whether we should do Apec or something else.
“I don’t know of an effort like that in my last 27-odd years as a public servant to coordinate between 25 agencies, and to coordinate overseas with chairs and committees.
“It’s an incredible effort that we are putting together over the last couple of months since December last year.”
Pomaleu said PNG would host the first senior officials’ meeting from Feb 24 to March 9.
That will entail 78 meetings running parallel with over 3000 delegates rotating through the 14 days.
“That would mean we have eight meetings running all at the same time,” he said.
“We are ready to deploy those meetings come 2018. We’ve already scheduled out the meetings that will run for the two weeks.”
Pomaleu said PNG had good international support from Australia, New Zealand Japan, USA, Indonesia and Canada in terms of security assistance and policy.
“Our theme is harnessing inclusive opportunities, embracing the digital future and we picking up some of the work that Japan did in 2010,” he said.
“We will bring digital economy into the nation. We are looking at how we can configure a mechanism that could bring some of the important outcomes.”

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