Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the APEC Family of Nations controls about 60 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP), hence, Papua New Guinea is privileged to be a member of APEC.
Prime Minister made these remarks today (November 15, 2022) as he travels to Bangkok, Thailand, for APEC 2022 – the first in-person APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW) in four years since APEC 2018 in Port Moresby, because of COVID-19.
“Members of APEC are the movers and shakers of the global economy at present,” PM Marape said.
“This is especially with the robust market, especially in Asia, which has emerged and will be here for a long time to come.
Mr Marape emphasized that Papua New Guinea’s relationship with APEC nations is crucial, and especially given its strong bilateral relationships with many established economies including USA, the United Kingdom and European Union, and India.
Papua New Guinea also has strong relationships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), like the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and others.
“In my view, the competitive advantage PNG has, is exporting the country’s produce to these markets, with Asia having a massive population.
“This massive population, which is growing all the time, will have an increasing need for food and energy which PNG can supply.”
PM Marape said the APEC gathering would discuss present and future investments and PNG would use the opportunity to attract investors into the country.
“This will not only be in the traditional PNG exports like mining, oil and gas, but more so in downstream processing of , our timber, our fisheries and our agriculture,” he said.
“My generation of leadership wants to make the leap from being an exporter of raw resources to becoming an exporter of finished produce.”
PM Marape said International Trade and Investment Minister Hon. Richard Maru, and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, would accompany him to APEC 2022 and would progress what was discussed.
“We are moving in a big way into Special Economic Zones, as well as downstream processing of our natural resources, as these are long overdue,” he said.
“It’s about time we export finished cocoa, coffee, coconut, vanilla, gold, timber and oil and gas, among many others.
“We will make a transition into this space within the next 10 to 15 years and my contact with world leaders, such as at APEC, will enhance understanding with other nations – especially in trade and investment.
Mr Marape is scheduled to meet with a several world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, US Head of Delegation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a few others, during the APEC Leaders Week.
“China, like Japan, is a big buyer of our gas and is our biggest market so my meeting with President Xi Jinping will enhance our relationships,” he added.