Port Moresby 2018 APEC Summit to deliver significant opportunities for Papua New Guinea business


Papua New Guinea’s APEC 2018 Coordination Authority is on track to deliver its budget for the 2018 event later this year, with interim CEO Christopher Hawkins saying it will highlight the opportunities the business sector can capitalise on.

The APEC PNG Authority's Chris Hawkins

The PNG APEC 2018 Coordination Authority’s Christopher Hawkins

Businesses throughout Port Moresby can expect to find a wide range of opportunities in the lead-up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit over the next three years, according to the PNG APEC 2018 Coordination Authority.

‘The direct benefits for business in PNG are that, from what we spend on and for hosting APEC, most will go to the private sector because the government is not in the business of delivering the items that we need,’ PNG APEC Authority Interim Chief Executive Officer Christopher Hawkins told the 2015 Papua New Guinea Advantage Investment Summit last month.

‘That’s including transportation and freight, venues, catering, uniforms, communications – everything from gifts and handy crafts. These are things that will be outsourced.’

The Summit is taking place in PNG for the first time in 2018, leaving only Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei as the only APEC economies yet to host the event.

How the private sector in PNG would potentially benefit, Hawkins said, would be revealed when the Authority submits its budget and projections later this year.

‘When we deliver our budget and projections to parliament in October or November, a lot of that [budgeted] figure will be going direct to business and that will have the flow-on effect as well,’ he noted.

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Overcoming doubts

Hawkins said the Authority was focusing on how to address the many doubts that have persisted since Port Moresby was first selected to host the APEC Summit back in 2013.

He said the doubts centred mainly on Port Moresby’s ability to host an event of this magnitude, with 21 leaders from around the world, including from leading economies, the United States and China, expected to attend.

‘Challenges that we face are mainly around perception. There are people who don’t believe we can do it,’ Hawkins said.

‘Some of these negative views are stereotypical, based on past experiences from the 1980s and 1990s where things were very different. Some of it is based on prejudice, but for us, we are moving ahead to prove these people wrong.

‘Importantly, we have got to demonstrate our capacity all the way through until when we host the APEC. We have to manage expectations and demonstrate that we are on track.’

Chain of events

Hawkins said the experience of hosting the Pacific Games earlier this year, and also several upcoming events, would be ideal preparation for Port Moresby and PNG ahead of APEC.

‘Those of you that were in Port Moresby for the (Pacific) Games will know that everything came together,’ Hawkins said.

‘It was on time and it was on budget. It’s a big act to follow but at APEC we are building our team in much the same way as the Games built their team.’

Hawkins said the Authority was confident of building a skilled workforce to coordinate APEC that would require ‘only a couple of expat staff’.

The APEC Summit is also being planned following similar models to previous summits during the past decade, including in Australia’s, Peru’s and Chile’s.

Preparation for the event involves four phases, with the scoping phase completed and approved by Parliament in 2014. The Authority is now in the first of its three planning phases.

‘We have three years – it’s not long but we are on track and we are now moving to the next phase and I hope you look out for the real start of our APEC hosting, which will be the APEC meeting of ministers responsible for forestry in October,’ Hawkins said.

Overcoming challenges

Port Moresby’s shortage of hotel rooms remains a key challenge the Authority is working to overcome, Hawkins explained.

He said the Authority was dealing with this position by organising a more ‘intimate’ event compared with previous summits held elsewhere, such as China last year.

‘We will need cruise ships to take on accommodation capacity, which is commonplace these days. We are talking to the cruise ships now,’ Hawkins said.

‘We have sufficient accommodation for leaders to have the room they require.’

Hawkins said security and transportation were other areas where extensive preparation was already under way.

‘Security is always the big challenge for any APEC meeting – you have got 21 leaders from some of the world’s largest economies in one place meeting together. We have been working with our security partners, especially Australia,’ Hawkins said.

‘The airport is a concern for any APEC week. We will have a new airport terminal (in Port Moresby) by 2018 that will go where the old terminal used to be.’

APEC 2018 Precincts

Port Moresby will not be in total lockdown during the one-week APEC summit in November 2018, assures Chris Hawkins.

There are three key meeting areas as show on the map below.

  • APEC leaders will meet at Paga Hill, marked AELM (APEC Economic Leaders Meeting)
  • Most accommodation and cruise ships will be located in the Town Hotel precinct
  • CEOs and heads of major regional companies will meet Leaders in the CEO Summit Precinct for formal and informal talks
  • Meetings with Trade Ministers and officials will take place in the Waigani Precinct, along with some accommodation, including the new Hilton Hotel. The Gala Dinner will be hosted here.
Chris Hawkins, APEC

Click on map to enlarge



  1. Michael says

    Let’s be be intellectuals here. APEC will eventuate less then a month from now. The questions and doubts you expressing and airing are ruled null and void. The proper time to express your views was when in 2013 PNG was given the opportunity to host this very important Summit. What were we doing in the last 3 to 5 years? You and I should have asked such questions. Let’s just sit back and see the benefits in the years to come. Business houses in Port Moresby will benefit from that particular time but the big picture here is that it will benefit the whole country in the future in terms of trade. It’s an ongoing Summit and if mistakes are done they can be improved. Let’s not have doubt in our leaders because we mandated them. God bless our Nation

  2. Thanks its very interesting that APEC is a reality for PNG. I am deeply concerned about the lack of awareness of APEC to the general population of Port Moresby and the host provinces. Can I ask the APEC Authority to visit our schools and the general public to inform them about what’s coming? The advantages and disadvantages of hosting such a big event in a small country, how people especially parents of our young population and youths of the risks involved about hosting such a big event. The economic impact in the long run would be bright but in the short term there would be many challenges. We have to learn quickly in a short space of time on how we could grapple with this event unlike hosting the Pacific Games which was quiet different from this APEC.

  3. Max kurapae says

    APEC 2018 will brings more blessing to Papua New Guinea, even thou we are facing economic crises but it will turn to glorious dat

  4. By looking at how Philippines has benefited,, I believe PNG is on its way to success and prosperity in terms of economic development. Our leaders knows what’s best for us and what’s coming for us,, so why being negative about what they’re doing. Its a stepping stone for PNG and its beneficial in all our setors if you look at it closely.

  5. Apec is a international gathering of world leaders at Port Moresby the capital city of Papua New Guinea. It is a privilege and opportunity for Papua Guinea to host such a international gathering of world leaders from 21 countries and it is so important only if Papua New Guineans benefits from it. We have a problem in terms of leadership issues; management, transparency and accountability that matters. […] Because every leader represents their country’s interest first, in that way Papua New Guinea, leaders like, (Prime Minister Peter O’Neil) should be very careful. The decisions and agreements made should be under the enlightenment of the professionals in Papua New Guinea like economists, the political scientists and the state lawyers, who are trusted and experienced intellectuals to advise the Prime Minister by critically evaluate the effects and the benefits of the apec that will be having on the economy of Papua New Guinea.

  6. Seems like the big slice of the APEC spinoff benefits will be sucked by the existing corporate businesses such as the franchise hotels, transport and logistics companies and security companies. Its always frustrating to see our SMEs always have very slim chances of participating in spinoff benefits sharing.

  7. Robert Ginate says

    So excited to know what is APEC involved and about, has customary Land owner of Port Moresby NCD, we the people should take consideration of the hosting by advising / awareness of our people so they would have clearly stated mind off the program withing the process of the event I would really like to know more about APEC updated news and progress, as we all know has we the citizen of PNG that Port Moresby is the capital city and for APEC excel his the better of our future.

    Robert Ginate

  8. Kanaka Man says

    The reality is the opposite that PNG Government has spent Billions of Kina to host the one-time event, especially for leaders meeting which will only take few days. I don’t know how the Prime Ministers and Presidents of US, China and Rusia will spend money on the items this folk is talking about above. The only place they’ll spend money for one or two nights will be the new Rain tree Hotel, Gateway, Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza hotel in Down town. The huge price PNG will be paying for this uneconomical activity is repaying the loan with interest that the govt obtained to building roads in Pom. You’ve started feeling pain with the prices of goods and services increasing, as Kina value drops to its insignificant level. Please educated PNGuineas, educate your MPs to have enough of saying yes to uneconomical events that do nothing good but add burden to our lives.

    • Amor Stone says

      Say this is a business consultation meeting but at a higher level between world economies. In business there is the risks in demand and supply. Entraprenuers have to spend to earn but reliably forecasted with positive results in the interest of both parties in business. Such is the nature of the APEC. There are ministries of government trying to pull deals for the interest of PNG. The Government must therefore spend. Of course much of our SME sectors may not get much but little bits and pieces. Much will be by taken by service providers with the standard and quality required in developed economies. If PNG cannot provide the best, at least people organising tried. Of course our economy is affected in deals. And yes we people will have to contribute in taxes and we cannot escape. Whether good or bad impacts, and we cannot complain. We have to prepare for the bad and plan for the good out of this. What is what is. Our government has the best interests of the nation at heart when making APEC happen in our country.

      Let us hope that our government will be able to secure better and good deals in APEC.

  9. Brian Kati says

    Hi…I am a 3rd year accounting student at the University of Papua New Guinea and we operate a small hire car business…I believe there will be business opportunity in the area of logistics and transportation as per stated above…what should locally owned business/SMEs do to take advantage of such opportunities…can you inform us of any procedure or criteria that we need to establish to be eligible for business engagement

  10. Leroy Wilson says

    I am a 4th and final year culture & Tourism management student University of Goroka. I m aware that APEC summit wil also be hosted here in Goroka EHP in which I have approach relavant authorities such as provincial administration and they are not sure , weather they wil be hosting or not. Please can you tell us what will be the situation. As a Tourism advocate it is very important to take care of our very important leaders we need to plan in advance for their stay here in Goroka, please provide contact information . Thanks
    Leroy Wilson
    University of Goroka

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