Papua New Guineans should appreciate and embrace the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which will be hosted for the first time in Papua New Guinea as one of the member economy, press release issued today (May 7) states.
The statement says, APEC’s mission is to promote trade and investment, build sustainable, secure economic growth, improve living standards and support economic and technical cooperation within the 21-member economics that make up the APEC.
It also states that several high-level meetings have been held so far in Port Moresby which saw senior officials from other member economies visiting the country and participated actively in the meetings held in various venues in the county’s capital as well as other designated centers.
According to the statement, the outcome was impressive so far with positive feedbacks from the other economies for a successful APEC year in Papua New Guinea.
“APEC is a premier economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region and its primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the region.”
Whilst the premier economic forum is months away and with PNG currently facing difficulties with its economy, some Papua New Guineans query the benefits that APEC will bring.
“The world knows where PNG is. If they refuse to invest here before APEC, they will certainly not invest here after APEC. APEC is not a magic wand.” Mr Vincent Moses told EMTV Online.
When interviewed, Martin Kuinga, a resident of ATS says investors will come when we fix real day to day problems like law and order, people’s living standards and unemployment. He said, “Investors and countries that want to trade with PNG must be attracted to PNG, not through a week-long forum, but opportunities it makes available for them over time.”
Mr Hercules Jim who was one of the UPNG student leaders who went to National Court battling for his education when expelled after the UPNG unrest in 2017 has this to say;
“Being the member of APEC is great for our economy but I don’t see what benefits we will get as a nation from hosting the summit. The APEC Summit, is where the leaders rush into another resort city ferried by their air force jets with legions of bureaucrats, advisers, security protection and media to discuss the economic future of member states. Mr Jim claims that the government is spending beyond its means.
“Schools and hospitals are shutting down while we are putting up show in Port Moresby.” Hercules said. “If we want to attract investors and tourist; fix our Law and Order situation. Provide stable political leadership and put in place mechanism to address corruption and look into our foreign exchange, etcetera. There are better ways to attract investors and tourist than a meeting. Just hosting the APECwill do no good.”
Several other people interviewed by EMTV Online were anxious about the government’s huge spendings in the name of international events in the midst of a deteriorating economy whilst the country’s rural population lack basic services.
Meanwhile, it is understood that APEC initiative is to turn policy goals into concrete results and agreements into tangible benefits.
Image Source: www.aljazeera.com