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Nine things you need to know about this APEC leaders’ week

Parliament House and Independence Boulevard
Parliament House with Independence Boulevard behind and the circular new International Convention Centre at left (Aaron Chin)

STAFF WRITER | Business Advantage PNG

PORT MORESBY - The final two events of Papua New Guinea’s APEC-hosting year begin tomorrow.

The APEC leaders meeting and CEO summit are the highlights of APEC leaders’ week, to take place from tomorrow (Monday) to next Sunday, and thousands of delegates are arriving in Port Moresby from all over the APEC region. Here’s what to expect.

Public holiday in Port Moresby

Friday 16 November will be a public holiday but only in Port Moresby. Last week, prime minister Peter O’Neill said there would be just one public holiday after speculation the government was planning to declare two.

“We are trying to create an environment where it is business as usual,” he told a Port Moresby business meeting last week. “The public holiday is to ensure that there is limited inconvenience to the public.

“The weekend will be a normal weekend. The leaders’ meeting has been deliberately held on a Saturday and a Sunday.”

International Airport to remain open

Port Moresby’s Jacksons International Airport will remain open throughout the week, with most VIPs flying into the country outside peak times to avoid too much disruption to scheduled flights. Most leaders are expected to fly in on Friday 16 November—hence the declared public holiday.

The city’s port will remain open

While Port Moresby’s port at Motukea Island will remain open, there will be changes to its operations to accommodate cruise ships, which are arriving in PNG to provide accommodation for delegates.

Final APEC senior officials’ meeting

Port Moresby’s international convention centre will be the location for the last APEC senior officials’ meeting meeting of the year to be held tomorrow (Monday) and on Tuesday.

APEC Ministerial meeting

PNG’s foreign minister Rimbink Pato will host the ministerial meeting at the international convention centre on Thursday 15 November.

The CEO Summit

Organised by the APEC business advisory council, the CEO summit will be held on the cruise liner Pacific Explorer from Thursday to Saturday. The ship will be moored close to downtown Port Moresby.

World leaders scheduled to address the summit include China’s president Xi Jinping, Malaysia’s prime minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, and Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison.

Business speakers lined up for the summit include Patrick Pouyanne (chairman and CEO, Total), Raymund Chao (chairman Asia Pacific, PwC), Scott Price (chief strategy and transformation officer, UPS), Pierre Eladari (CEO, Puma Energy Global), Denis O’Brien (chairman & founder, Digicel Group), His Escellency Carrie Lam (chief executive, Hong Kong), Peter Botten (managing director, Oil Search), Ayesha Khanna (co-founder and CEO, ADDO AI) and Terry Brady (president, UL).

APEC gala dinner

The official gala dinner will take place at Port Moresby’s new Kutubu Convention Centre, part of the Star Mountain Plaza development which also includes the new Hilton Hotel, on the evening of Friday 17 November. What will the leaders wear? This is the night the leaders dress in clothing proposed by the host country.

APEC leaders meeting

The APEC leaders meeting, the culmination of PNG’s APEC year, will take place at APEC Haus, Ela Beach, on Sunday 18 November. The day before, the same venue will be used for dialogues with Pacific leaders and with ABAC [APEC Business Advisory Council]. The area will be in security lockdown, so steer clear.

Visiting Papua New Guinea?

Looking for accommodation during APEC Week? Most of Port Moresby’s main hotels are expected to be fully booked. Also, note that PNG’s visa-on-arrival system has been suspended for security reasons until 30 November.


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