Trade rules matter, says PM

Business

By GYNNIE KERO
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says smaller economies in the region such as Papua New Guinea which rely on international trade rules suffer when the rules are broken or ignored.
Addressing the business leaders in Port Moresby on Friday he said the first challenge “is working within the international agreed system to address grievances. This include access by major economies that has a huge impact on the trade flows”.
“As smaller economies, countries like PNG place considerable reliance on international trade and international trade rules,” he said.
“We suffer when rules are broken and ignored. We benefit when rules are followed by all countries, large and small.”
He said the second challenge was governments which should be actively engaged with civil societies and businesses to “expand the benefits of economic integration”.
“Governments need to create active policies to share the economic development prospects and reduce income inequality in our society. More free trade is vital,” he said, “and the promotion of an environment that allows members of a society to participate fully in the digital revolution taking place.” O’Neill said hosting Apec had been challenging but rewarding for all citizens.
“After 25 years of membership, it is right time to host, mostly because our economy continues to grow.”
An example of the country’s growth, as the prime minister pointed out, was the oversubscription of the PNG bond by 600 per cent at the international market two months ago.
“PNG has now become part of the international financial architecture,” O’Neill said.
“This is a real confidence for our country and our people and especially for investors who are interested in our country.
“Tourism, agriculture, fisheries has seen strong investments and the resource sector. We are increasing trade and business in the region.”

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