PNG not affected by Trump decision

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill was not shaken by US President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as it will not affect Papua New Guinea.
Responding to a series of questions by Opposition leader Don Polye in Parliament yesterday, O’Neill said the TPP was not an Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (Apec) arrangement.

“It is no surprise to us that TPP arrangement has been cancelled,” O’Neill said.
“The president (Trump) has taken a decision that he promised at the election that he will cancel the TPP arrangements between some of the economies around the world.

The TPP is not an Apec arrangement. Of course, there are some members of Apec who participate in that arrangement in trade, but it is not exclusive to Apec countries at all.
“Cancellation of TPP will not affect PNG in its ability to trade internationally in any shape, way or form because we are not a signatory to this arrangement.”

The prime minister reminded parliament of the Government’s decision to refuse being a part of Pacer Plus, an arrangement that would not benefit the country’s economy nor provide jobs for Papua New Guineans. But, he said, Government officials had embarked on discussions with major trading partners such as Australia and China aimed at providing jobs and protecting businesses. Polye asked what trade and investment agreements O’Neill would discuss with Trump if the president came to the country for Apec meeting next year. “Relation is important in this country, it’s above politics,” O’Neill said.

“It’s easy to say we don’t want foreign investment in the country, but where are you going to raise capital in order for you to develop the country?

“That is why Apec is important, after election the incumbent government must take ownership of the Apec issues because it is a unique opportunity where overseas investors will be here in the country.”

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