Cook Islands look to greater engagement with APEC

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera and leaders pose for a family picture at a gala dinner during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 17, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

RAROTONGA,22 NOVEMBER 2018 (COOK ISLANDS GOVT) – Prime Minister Henry Puna was among Pacific Leaders in Port Moresby last week for the annual meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC).

Hosted by Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, in attendance were world leaders from 21 developed and developing countries including Japan, China, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vice Presidents from the United States and Russia.

The Pacific and APEC Leaders’ Summit on the 18th November was the centerpiece of Prime Minister Puna’s engagements in Port Moresby. In attendance were Leaders of APEC and Pacific Islands Countries, with the Dialogue facilitated by Prime Minister O’Neill.

The theme for this year’s APEC was “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future”. In addition to the APEC/PIC Leaders Summit, Prime Minister Puna also met with APEC Leaders including host Peter O’Neill, Justin Trudeau of Canada; Xi Jinping of China and Scott Morrison of Australia.

“APEC members are of significant geopolitical and economic value to the Cook Islands. Geographically, they surround our Pacific Islands and almost all our imports come from APEC economies,” said Prime Minister Puna. “Our tourism source markets, are also predominantly APEC countries so there is substantial impetus for the Cook Islands to pursue stronger and deeper engagement with APEC and APEC members,” he said.

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