News 19 Jan 2018
Growing excitement can be felt around Papua New Guinea as the largest Pacific nation prepares to host Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) activities and the APEC Summit later this year.
Sitting right in the midst of the action is New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG, HE Sue Mackwell, who says APEC is an opportunity to showcase PNG to the Asia Pacific region.
“It is the first time PNG has hosted APEC, which will see Presidents and Prime Ministers of APEC economies gather in Port Moresby for the Leaders’ Week in November,” Sue says.
“It is a great opportunity to showcase PNG to the Asia Pacific region and to promote investment opportunities – many in PNG feel APEC will potentially boost the economy and PNG’s confidence.”
New Zealand is a strong supporter of APEC, and it recently contributed over $NZ 15 million towards the cost of hosting this year's APEC summit.
“New Zealand is supporting PNG to host APEC along with Australia, US, Canada, China, Japan and Indonesia, and New Zealand’s assistance is through capacity building and training,” Sue says.
“It will be involved at official levels throughout the year and New Zealand Ministers will attend Ministerial meetings, while Prime Minister (Jacinda) Ardern has indicated she will attend Leaders’ Week.”
There are 12 NZ Police officers on the ground in Port Moresby assisting the Royal PNG Constabulary and the Australian Federal Police, who are in training for close protection, motorcade driving, communications and marine support.
“New Zealand is also supporting the PNG Defence Force through training and we are also providing valuable protocol and liaison officer training.”
Additionally, NZ is also hosting the first APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting, in Auckland during February.
Throughout 2018, the NZ High Commission will be involved in APEC activity, Sue adds.
“We will be involved in many of the meetings supporting our delegations throughout the year, and will of course be assisting in the arrangements for Leaders’ Week.
“It is a great thing to be involved with, people are getting exciting particularly as the new buildings – APEC Haus on Ela Beach and the new Hilton Hotel complex, takes shape,” Sue adds.
Visit APEC for more information.
(Main picture caption: APEC Haus is currently under construction on reclaimed land at Ela Beach. CREDIT PNG Industry News.)