STAFF REPORTER | Business Advantage PNG | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea businesses should expect income streams from next month as momentum builds towards the APEC summit in November 2018, director-general of the APEC PNG coordination authority, Sir Charles Lepani, says.
He told a Business Advantage PNG investment summit in Sydney that hotels, small business suppliers and the informal sector throughout PNG will benefit from preparations for next year’s APEC leaders’ summit in Port Moresby.
Sir Charles said his authority needed to manage expectations, noting that the summit will not change PNG overnight. But he said it would establish a foundation for stronger growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange and raising PNG’s profile.
Already, hotels have been paid for senior delegates’ accommodation.
“We intend to go to tender or look for PNG women around the country who make bilums. Each province will make bilums, but not flags, as APEC does not use flags because they are political,” Sir Charles said.
“We hope to get about 15,000 bilums made by women for each delegate. Not plastic, which would be thrown away afterwards, but real bilums that they can take home with them as gifts.”
Regional centres will benefit, he said, because delegates will make day trips to other parts of PNG, including Alotau and Goroka. Air Niugini will earn about K40–50 million moving delegates.
The APEC Authority expects 15,000 delegates to attend the 2018 meetings with 9000 attending the summit itself.
Sir Charles said the theme for the summit is - ‘Creating Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future’ - reflects the twin aims of APEC: trade liberalisation and improving infrastructure.
“There is a call for urgent attention to social inclusion within the wealth creation and growth APEC economies,” he said.
Thirteen Pacific Island leaders will be invited to attend the summit as observers and will have the opportunity to meet with APEC leaders. The Pacific Islands Forum will organise these meetings.
Five VIP aircraft, including the US President’s plane, will be housed at Jacksons Airport. Talks are underway to have some official aircraft located at Cairns. Three hundred buses will be used to take delegates to and from meetings.
Most media will be accommodated at the Pacific Games Village, which will be renovated even though it is only two years old.
The main official APEC meetings in the lead-up to the summit are:
6-8 October 2017: APEC Transport Ministers’ meeting
8 October 2017: Delegates will visit Alotau
5-6 December 2017: First Senior Officials Meeting
29 January–10 February 2018: Senior Officials Meeting.23 April–5 May 2018: Senior Officials Meeting
13-28 August 2018: Senior Officials Meeting12-18 November: Leaders’ Summit