Transportation network vital for APEC region
BY GORETHY KENNETH
PAPUA New Guinea will host the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby from October 9-13, 2017.
At this meeting Ministers will deliberate on issues that are of vital significance to PNG’s economy, and the region as a whole.
The Minister for Sports, National Events and APEC Justin Tkatchenko and the Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure Malakai Tabar jointly announced this last week.
Mr Tabar said the hosting of the ministerial meeting will provide the opportunity to advance transportation issues that are of great consequence to the nation and to the APEC region.
“The key to economic development in our region is the development of safe and efficient transportation networks that get goods to market,” the Transport Minister said.
“At the APEC Meeting, our Ministers will deliberate on issues that are of vital significance to our economy, and for the region as a whole.
“These transportation matters are of great importance to the grassroots people of the Asia-Pacific.
“Policy measures being advanced at this APEC meeting include a framework for heavy vehicle safety.
“This is an APEC project that is developing practical measures to reduce road-deaths from transport accidents, and this is an important issue for Papua New Guinea where too many women, children and men die on our roads.
“An APEC study found that 420,000 deaths were caused by heavy vehicle accidents around the region in recent years.
“This project to reduce the death-toll was approved at the 42nd APEC Transportation Working Group meeting in Papua New Guinea earlier this year.
“In Papua New Guinea, and around the region, we are working to deal with factors that include overloading, poor vehicle road worthiness and infrastructure issues.
“This will have an immediate impact on saving lives in Papua New Guinea and around the region.”
The Minister said other initiatives include attracting private investment to transportation infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships and enhancing sea and aviation connectivity between our countries.
“APEC is also very active in promoting cruise ship visits to ports within the APEC region, and this has great importance to Papua New Guinea where there is a great market for expanding the number of cruise ships visiting our ports.”
Minister Tkatchenko said while the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting takes place before the start of Papua New Guinea’s formal hosting of APEC in 2018, it will be afforded full support from the APEC Authority to ensure the safety and efficiency of this high level meeting.
“Papua New Guinea hosted the 42nd APEC Transportation Working Group in April 2016 that laid the groundwork for the Ministerial meeting,” the APEC Minister said.
“This Ministerial meeting will provide the opportunity to fully test our systems, and our officials and staff, that will be deployed during our host year.
“We know people around the region who have seen Australian media have questions in relation to our national capacity.
“From the hundreds of delegates who have visited Papua New Guinea in the past year, to attend APEC and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Meetings, they have seen that our nation is nothing like the stereotypes in foreign media.
“Delegates from around the region were impressed with our hospitality and capacity to deliver these world-class events,” he said.
that we have already hosted.
“We will extend Papua New Guinea’s full hospitality to our visitors and they will return seeing the amazing nature of our country and our growing economy.
“I look forward to Papua New Guinea hosting the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in October and showcasing our nation once again to the Asia-Pacific.”