Moving beyond the Apec Summit


I COMMEND Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for committing Papua New Guinea as host of Apec for the first time since joining it way back in 1993-4.
Other member economies have hosted Apec leaders’ summits once or twice already while for PNG this will be the first.
It is time for PNG to play some lead roles in mustering regional and global outcomes on geopolitical and socio-economic and environmental challenges and create opportunities for everyone it their own backyard.
Hence, there is no better time than now.
One this PNG can do is to get State Enterprises or IPBC to free up a piece of land at the old port area in Downtown for an Apec World Trade Centre Building of 50 to 100 stories.
It should explore with Junior Trump for a joint venture or a consortium of investors from Apec member economies to fund the construction.
Apec leaders should witness the ground-breaking as a highlights.
We need smart ideas to underwrite this at the back of our Apec year for such an iconic office space to be sold out and taken up by businesses as their sub or regional centre or headquarters.
The Government can offer tax incentives to companies relocating their regional or sub-regional office to pay only 10 per cent corporate tax or less, provide multiple visa entries for their international staff and so forth.
In 1996, when the Philippines hosted its first Apec summit by President Ramos, it opened up the Subic Bay Free Port and it is not surprising that one of the major stevedoring companies from the Philippines is now contracted to Lae Ports.
I have every confidence in Moresby South Member and Apec Minister to play the high stakes to light the profile of Port Moresby as the hub of Pacific and Asia.
PNG is so geographically diverse that no matter how big the intensity and magnitude of natural disasters we face, they are usually confined to specific areas and much of the country is usually safe.
This makes Port Moresby a safe place to invest in the property market and high-rise buildings and any insurance firm would love to underwrite that as long as fire hydrant pumps are automated.

Lavender Giblee
NCD via email