Speech by Hon. Justin Tkatchenko – 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting

– Ministers;
– Head of Delegations;
– Excellences;
– APEC Officials,
– Chair;
– Moderators;
– Presenters;
– Ladies and Gentleman.

It is an honour to welcome you to Papua New Guinea for the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial meeting.

I convey to you the best regards of our Prime Minister, the Honourable Peter O’Neill.

Papua New Guinea is very pleased to be hosting APEC in 2018.

This is part of our commitment as a member of the APEC community of economies.

We look forward to receiving delegates, ministers and leaders over the coming year.

The policy agenda that we support will be very productive and meaningful for the region.

And we hope that you all enjoy the experience of visiting Papua New Guinea.

As the Prime Minister has said, APEC in Papua New Guinea will be very Pacific in style and hospitality.

This will be with world class logistics and security.

It is also very pleasing to be hosting this Ministerial Meeting.

The agenda before you today is very relevant to the people of Papua New Guinea and all APEC Member Economies.

The agenda on ‘Regional connectivity through inclusive, resilient and sustainable and innovation in the Digital age’ is highly relevant.

Capable transportation networks determine the quality of life for millions of people in the APEC region.

Particularly in regional areas, efficient land, sea and air transportation infrastructure is fundamental to economic growth and community development.

However, we are faced with a different range of challenges and all of us in this room have a responsibility to be proactive.

All of our economies have different challenges, but for all of us ‘complacency is not an option’.

In the modern digital age, we cannot respond to these challenges alone.

The challenges we face in the transportation sector are not just domestic, they are regional and global, and require multilateral action.

The theme on sustainability and innovation in the digital age complements the global call for sustainable development beyond boarders.

For our region, this is all about exploring innovative opportunities through modern technology platforms – while ensuring that we are still resilient and being inclusive with no one left behind.

We must embrace new and innovative products and services.

And we need to implement projects that will promote sustainable development while promoting inclusiveness in regional supply chains.

As an APEC region, the convergence of infrastructure and services will enhance mobility and improve supply chain connectivity.

We are here today to share ideas, suggestions and solutions to promote connectivity in our region.

I would like to acknowledge the Ministers and CEOs Dialogue that took place this morning.

This focus on reducing emissions and promoting sustainable travel is highly relevant to all of our peoples.

As APEC economies, we are very well aware of the 2016 ICAO Resolutions which was passed at it’s 39th Assembly.

This includes action to formalise future standards and recommended practices on sustainability, and the Carbon Offsetting Scheme for International Aviation.

A number of APEC economies, including Papua New Guinea, have supported it’s voluntary implementation which starts in 2021.

I must say these requirements are not easy but are essential.

As we implement reform, consultation is essential, so that we carry stakeholders with us and undertake reform together.

The Ministers and CEOs dialogue this morning has generated constructive ideas on how we can capitalise on innovation and technology.

As part of the specific issues being addressed in the three modes of transportation, the APEC region is also faced with a number of other cross-cutting challenges.

This includes the role of women, support for SMEs, and concerns surrounding trafficking in human and wildlife.

Global efforts have been undertaken to raise awareness and advocacy.

I am happy to see that our region is taking action to give prominence to these issues, and I know there will be further discussion on these matters today.

While we are all gathered in Port Moresby today, I also hope that this will also be an opportunity provided for meaningful bilateral discussion amongst our economies.

Discussion on issues of common interests at this level will only add to engagement through this Transportation Ministers Meeting.

The people of my economy and yours depend on us to deliver tangible results from our meeting here today.

In the transportation sector we hold the keys to greater opportunity for people throughout our region.

I hope the outcome of the discussions here today will contribute to making transportation safer and more efficient.

I also hope the discussion here today will help to improve lives and promote small business engagement.

I commend the work of our officials in developing the policy agenda before ministers today.

May the discussion that takes place in this meeting be fruitful and relevant.

I commit our Government to implementing reforms and measures that will enhance the transportation sector in our region.

APEC economies represent more than half of global trade.

And the billions of people in our region depend on us to deliver efficient transport systems that will promote investment, enhance business and create jobs.

I wish you well in your discussion today.

Finally, on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, our 8 million people from one thousand tribes, I welcome you to our land.

I hope you have a highly enjoyable stay.

Those of you who travel to Alotau tomorrow will have the opportunity to see more of our country.

And I hope all of you return again in the future.

With these remarks, I now officially announce the opening of the 10th Transportation Ministerial Meeting.

Thank you.

Speech by Hon. Justin Tkatchenko BEM OL MP Minister for Lands – Representing Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, Prime Minister At the 10th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting, 7th October 2017

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