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Papua New Guinea will be known to the world come November when APEC leaders arrive for the summit, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari says.
He addressed hundreds of APEC staff and officials at the International Convention Centre last week.
“That will be the proudest moment for the nation,” Lupari said.
“The rest of the world doesn’t know PNG.
“Many of you, when you travel the world, they think that we come from Africa.
“Just imagine: From Nov 15-19 event, the world will know Papua New Guinea. That will be the proudest moment for all of us.
“We have not crossed that finishing line yet.
“We have a meter or two to go and we must work together to achieve that. I know that our good Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill is right behind us to deliver a secure and Pacific-style APEC Leaders’ Summit come November.
“I am confident because our development partners like China, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and many countries have come on board to help us host Apec.
“They have the confidence in us and our leadership to deliver Apec 2018 successfully.”
Lupari said the challenge with the provision of the security would never be easy “but Government is confident of a secure leaders’ summit this year”.
“Many of us were having doubts about what it will be like having the president of the United States of America, or to see the president of China, the president of Russia in our country, but that will be the momentous day for this country.
“Just imagine when the three leaders of the most-successful and powerful countries in the world come to PNG: The whole world will be focused on us.
“It would be good to sit down and tell our grand-children that, the president of the United States came to our country. And that will be an inspiration to all of us.
“Let us all be proud that we were able and have delivered SOM 1 and SOM 2.
“I know SOM3 is going to be an icing on the cake.”
Lupari acknowledged O’Neill and his Government for the budget support to the PNG APEC Authority.
Meanwhile, Apec Coordination Authority will continue its consultation with various stakeholders in the community as it prepares and progresses its plans for the leaders’ summit in November, chief executive officer Chris Hawkins says.
Hawkins told The National that the authority would hold many more such consultations as it did with business communities, so everyone was aware of what to expect from Nov 12-18.
“We have ongoing consultations that will continue to increase with all stakeholders, whether they are community groups, suburbs or villages that are directly within the areas of APEC activities,” he said.
“That’s very important.
“Sectors such as fisheries need to know what they can and cannot do in the maritime exclusion zone.
“Schools are important: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill wants to see kids’ involvement in APEC awareness so they understand what it’s all about.”
Hawkins said there was too much rumour around about public holidays and claims of a total shutdown.
“APEC operations should have minimal impact on businesses and it’s important that there is clarity,” he said.
“Businesses can plan their operations around APEC.
“Business has to go on as normal.
“Where there are security implications or concerns, there will be some interruptions.
“We try to ensure that chief executive officers and business leaders attend their meetings.
“We ensure that APEC has minimal impact on our business community and it enhances business opportunities for the country.
“This is the most significant international event ever hosted.
“Safety and security of leaders, ministers and delegates has to be paramount.
“There will be short-term interruptions but the long-term will have a dramatic improvement for the economy,” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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