APEC meeting provides enormous opportunity for regional economies

Visiting Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill said Monday that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which will be held in Papua New Guinea in November, provides an enormous opportunity for many economies in the region.

O’Neill, who arrived here Sunday for a two-day visit to Fiji since being elected as prime minister in 2012, made the remarks while addressing the Fijian parliament on the progress of preparations by his country in hosting the event.

APEC is a 21-member forum that includes China, Japan, Russia, the United States and many large global economies promoting free trade throughout the Asia Pacific region, he said, adding that the meeting will be attended by nearly 9,000 delegates from all over the world and his country continues to provide the highest level of security.

He also invited his Fijian counterpart Voreqe Bainimarama to address the APEC meeting in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea in November.

Meanwhile, O’Neill also called for working together in achieving common goals.

“We as Melanesian and Pacific Island Nations must work together – simply by getting on and doing what is best for our own countries and also for the region. It is therefore important that we continue to build a strong bond in our two countries and of course in our regional and sub-regional organizations,” he said.

O’Neill also expressed PNG’s interest in furthering trade and investment relations with Fiji.

He added that businesses from both countries are investing in tourism, banks and agriculture, and PNG wishes to strengthen this.

O’Neill will leave Fiji on Tuesday afternoon after finishing his visit.

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