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Climate Change to take priority at APEC Leaders Summit 2018

Climate Change will be one of the major points of discussion during the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby.

“When we think about sustainable development, inevitably we have to think about climate challenges within the region,” says PNG APEC Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu.

“Papua New Guinea intends to confront these challenges that are of great concern to us and to our smaller Pacific island neighbours.

“This includes food security and you might find conversations emerging there. It involves sustainable development and you might find conversations emerging there. We need to strike a balance, making sure our work stays relevant to APEC but also takes into account the key issues that are part of our landscape at the moment.”

In an interview with the APEC Bulletin, Ambassador Pomaleu talked about the impact engagement in APEC has had for Papua New Guinea and the focus on connectivity, digital inclusion and climate challenges it will bring this year.

Meanwhile, PNG has taken up the role of host for the first time in 2018 after a quarter century of APEC membership.

PNG chair of APEC Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu, will play a central role in advancing the region’s trade and growth agenda.

In an interview Pomaleu talked about the impact engagement in APEC has had for Papua New Guinea and the focus on connectivity, digital inclusion and climate challenges it will bring this year.

 He described his expectations for progress and the eye-opening perspective that Papua New Guinea will offer to APEC.

“Papua New Guinea considers itself privileged to be part of APEC, having joined in 1993. The important thing in terms of how we’ve benefitted from APEC is our subscription to the general notion of an open economy, certainly in relation to configuring best practice policies—trying to ensure a level playing field within our economy regarding how we facilitate trade and investment,” he said.

“Issues such as infrastructure, institutional and people-to-people connectivity are particularly crucial for us in formulating trade and investment policies going forward. It is very important that we continue to recognise the influence that exists in being members of APEC and be able to have that membership influence some of our thinking.

“Our choice to host APEC in 2018 is a recognition that there is still a lot that needs to be done and it is a gesture of commitment by our government to the APEC process and, indeed, to our membership. “We hope to use our chairmanship as leverage to continue to align domestic policies that are consistent with conversations in APEC.”

Ambassador Pomaleu said APEC has allowed investors to come on shore and be part of the business community.

“You really need to think in terms of what sort of structural reform and ease of doing business activities we’ve been doing and that have made it possible for new investments in Papua New Guinea. Those are pegged on important APEC principles,” he said.

“There are emerging digital issues that we hope to take forward in 2018. That’s going to help us in some of our own connectivity challenges, domestically. We certainly hope to spotlight some structural adjustments that are needed when we start thinking about how to make internet more accessible and cheaper.

“There are some other efforts in natural resources, for instance, addressing illegal logging that are important to us, especially as an economy that continues to depend on extractive industries. Education and health are also priorities for us. Policy areas like these, we think, will benefit greatly from the focus we’re going to bring to them at the APEC table,” he said.


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