Saturday 21 November 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has extended Papua New Guinea’s gratitude to the APEC Economies for their support during COVID-19 this year.
Mr Marape said this when addressing the 2020 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting virtually.
Malaysia is the host of the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting this year, and is the first-ever virtual meeting because of COVID-19.
The meeting went on from late last night till the early hours of this morning, chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Hon. Tan Sri Muhyiddin, after which the Kuala Lumpur Declaration was issued.
It was held under the 2020 APEC Malaysia theme of ‘Optimising Human Potential towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity. Pivot. Prioritise. Progress’.
“We stand exposed to what happens globally,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“In the instance of COVID-19, our small country was totally exposed, but we thank very much many of our partners, especially our partners in the APEC family starting with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Philippines, Indonesia who all stepped in to ensure that we were given the support needed.
“I place on record my greatest appreciation to the whole family of nations, especially those who are linked in our APEC family, for supporting us.”
Prime Minister Marape said PNG looked forward to continued support from larger APEC Economies for COVID-19.
“If a vaccine is found, let me place my lobby for small island states and small nations if vaccines can be delivered to us at the earliest, because we are totally exposed and are vulnerable to the damage that COVID-19 can cause to the health of our people, and also to the economies of our nations and our people.”
Prime Minister Marape said at a time when PNG was facing economic stress due to COVID-19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and larger APEC Economies like Australia, Japan, China and others ensured that trade continued to flow.
“Papua New Guinea could not pull through without help of the bigger nations,” he said.
Prime Minister Marape said two years ago, when APEC descended on Port Moresby, the discussions were centred around a digital economy.
“I am happy that we are now progressing from what was being discussed on Era Kone shores in Port Moresby, and now our friend Malaysia is picking up the conversation.
“Beyond Bogor Goals, on behalf of Papua New Guinea, I join many others who have pledged their support behind what will now emerge as the Putrajaya Vision.
“As we step into the future, Papua New Guinea pledges its full support in endeavours to promote free trade, multilateralism, ensure everyone has equal voice and participates in the economy in the APEC family as well as the global family.
“These are the principles that Papua New Guinea subscribes to.
“We look forward to utilising the digital economy platform to ensure that PNG also participates in ensuring that our produce is sold to the market that the APEC family provides, as well as enjoying free trade with you, the bigger APEC nations.”
Prime Minister Marape acknowledged Australia for ensuring that PNG had access to an ICT platform through the Coral Sea Cable.
He also acknowledged New Zealand, Japan, USA and Australia for their support in ensuring that 70 per cent of PNG’s population was connected to electricity by 2030.
Prime Minister Marape pointed out China as a major trading partner to PNG.
“Let me thank everyone in the APEC family for your interface during this economic forum.
“The world belongs to everyone, a fair place where no one is left behind, some principles that Papua New Guinea subscribes to,” Prime Minister added.