Call for PNG to keep market open

PNG Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato. Picture: RNZ

PORT MORESBY, 29 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea has to keep its market open and make necessary investments to develop domestic infrastructure and human resources, according to Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato.

Speaking at the opening the Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Port Moresby on Friday, Pato took stock of challenges across the changing global landscape and outlined steps the ministers could take to keep trade moving and open opportunities for people in all parts of the region.

During the meet, the ministers considered ways forward in APEC to improve regional connectivity and market integration, ease of doing business across borders and participation in trade by widening access and use of digital technologies.

“We must ensure APEC is a key driver of global economic growth, creating jobs for our people, reducing poverty and ensuring that no one is left behind,” Pato said.

Calling attention to the potential for digital economy breakthroughs at a grassroots level, trade ministers recognised the winners of the 2018 APEC App Challenge.

Local daughter-father team, Crystal and Jonathan Kewe, developed a platform that allowed weavers to showcase their traditional Papua New Guinean sling bags or bilums, and more easily connect with buyers.

“Digital trade and e-commerce are creating more opportunities for our micro, small and medium enterprises,” Pato said.

“Let us resolve to send a strong message to the global community that APEC believes in a free, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system.

“Let us recommit ourselves to advance the realisation of a comprehensive and high quality free-trade agreement for the region that will enhance inclusive and sustainable growth.

“We need to provide greater opportunities for our people and, at the same time, provide leadership at the global level.”

The Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting concluded on Saturday followed by a visit to Lae.

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