By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has commended the importance of sub-regional groups from Pacific Islands, Asia and Latin America into the APEC process.
PM O’Neill further said the boarders of APEC countries must be extended for greater alliance.
The Prime Minister made the comments following the first meeting of APEC Leaders with the Pacific Alliance, a group of four Latin American countries.
“The issues that affect the Asia-Pacific are felt beyond the 21 APEC members, but are felt by many other countries in the region so it is important that their voices are heard in APEC,” PM O’Neill said.
“This includes members of the Pacific Islands Forum, ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance who are not APEC members.
“In our region, the views of Pacific Islands Forum nations need to be considered by the broader APEC community, and I know this feedback is always well received.
“Issues such as access to global value and supply chains, non-tariff barriers to trade and connectivity are important to our Pacific Island states.
“The dialogues with the Pacific Alliance gave a good insight into the issues and challenges affecting our counterparts in Latin America.
There has been no expansion of APEC membership since 1998 and this has been effective for consolidating the APEC policy agenda.