Six Southwest Pacific countries have gathered in Port Moresby to discuss how to improve the flow of goods, services and investment.
The Southwest Pacific Dialogue met today for the 2nd Sub Regional Workshop on Connectivity Development.
Deputy Secretary- Operations from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Maino, said the workshop provides the platform for experts to share experiences to see improved transportation and telecommunication infrastructure.
The Southwest Pacific Dialogue participating countries include PNG, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Timor-Leste, who was absent from the 2nd Sub Regional Workshop on Connectivity Development.
Standing in for Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, Ambassador Maino said the workshop and the formation of the Working Group on Connectivity Development that will be established after the workshop is a way forward to cooperate on developing connectivity in the region.
“The discussion in the need for more connectivity within the region started in 2011 when member countries acknowledged and envisage the role of connectivity as critical to achieve a more prosperous and integrated region.”
Dr. Charles Yala, Director of the National Research Institute, said PNG faces a level of fragmentation that raises the cost of transportation, communication and service delivery as a whole. He suggest opening up the Island of New Guinea for improvement.
Dr. Yala said PNG and Indonesia must collaborate strategically to ensure connectivity between both countries.
Of the six Southwest Pacific Dialogue member countries, five are members of the APEC economies. With connectivity as an important agenda in APEC, this workshop will provide the prelude to the upcoming APEC meeting in the Working Group on Transportation later in the year.