Singapore Confirms APEC Attendance

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has confirmed he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby next year.

He joins China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand leaders who have confirmed their attendance with 17 others who have indicated their interest in attending, but not yet confirmed.

The confirmation was given by Mr Lee at a meeting with PNG’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato in Singapore last week.

“Prime Minister Lee has accepted Prime Minister O’Neill’s invitation and confirmed he will join their counterparts in Port Moresby in November next year, and said he is looking forward to his visit to Papua New Guinea,” Mr Pato said.

He said Singapore’s Prime Minister had great empathy for the issues on the APEC agenda that are of concern to Pacific Island nations.

Mr Pato said there were a number of issues that are of concern to all Pacific Island States, including Climate Change and enhancing connectivity, and Singapore was concerned at how these issues affect our countries.

“Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, poses one of the greatest threats to the people and economies of Pacific Island nations.

“Singapore has noted concerns, and expressed a willingness to engage through APEC to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on our economies.

“Connectivity also remains a matter of significant concern for the Pacific, and as a transport and communications hub, there is a lot that we can learn from Singapore.”

Minister Pato said Papua New Guinea and Singapore have a very strong relationship that continues to grow, and a significant amount of APEC travel will come through Singapore.

“From October 2017, when Papua New Guinea hosts the APEC Transportation Minister’s Meeting, through to the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November next year, a great deal of international travel will transit through Singapore to Port Moresby.

“We look forward to receiving more than 15,000 visitors to Papua New Guinea for APEC 2018, and welcoming them on board Air Niugini flights from Singapore.”

Post-Courier Online February 13, 2017, 2am

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