Papua New Guinea businesses should expect APEC-related income streams from this October


Papua New Guinea businesses should expect income streams from October, as momentum builds towards the APEC Summit in November 2018. The Director-General of the APEC PNG 2018 Coordination Authority, Sir Charles Lepani, told the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Summit in Sydney that towns outside Port Moresby will also benefit.

Artist’s impression of APEC Haus, currently being constructed near Ela Beach in Port Moresby.

According to Lepani, hotels, small business suppliers and the informal sector should, by October, start to benefit from preparations for next year’s APEC Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby.

Sir Charles Lepani talking about APEC 2018. Source: Business Advantage International

Lepani said the authority needed to manage expectations, noting that it would not change PNG overnight. But he said it would establish a foundation for stronger growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange, and raising PNG’s profile.

Already, hotels have been paid for senior delegates’ accommodation.

‘We intend to go to tender, or look for, PNG women around the country who make bilums. Each province will make bilums, but not flags, as APEC does not use flags because they are political. We hope to get about 15,000 bilums made by women for each delegate.

‘Not plastic, which would be thrown away afterwards, but real bilums that they can take home with them as gifts.’

Regional and business benefits

Where APEC Leaders will hold their summit.

Regional centres will also benefit, said Lepani, because delegates will make day trips to other parts of PNG, including Alotau and Goroka.

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Airlines will also benefit, he said, with Air Niugini earning about K40–50 million moving delegates.

Engineering and building firms will benefit, he said; APEC Haus being ‘the classic example’.

Three Carnival cruise ships are being hired to provide accommodation. Wharf berth renovations will be undertaken for these liners and this will provide long-term infrastructural benefit.

‘The APEC Authority expects 15,000 delegates to attend the 2018 meetings.’


The proposed theme for the summit is ‘Creating Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future’.

It’s a theme, he said, that reflects the twin aims of APEC—trade liberalisation and improving infrastructure.

‘There is a call for urgent attention to social inclusion within the wealth creation and growth APEC economies,’ he said.

PNG police motorcyclist escorts in training. Credit: PNG Loop

The summit, and the ministerial and working group meetings in the lead-in, will concentrate on four key areas: extractive industry policies, tourism, structural adjustment, and how digital technology can help medium and small businesses. Agriculture, financial inclusion and women in the economy will also be topics.

Lepani said the APEC Authority expects 15,000 delegates to attend the 2018 meetings, with 9000 attending the Leaders’ Summit itself.

Thirteen Pacific Island leaders will be invited to attend the summit as observers and will have the opportunity to meet with APEC leaders. The Pacific Islands Forum will organise these meetings.

Climate change, fishing and downstream processing are other possible topics for discussion.


Lepani said by the time of the summit the APEC Authority will reach its full strength of around 290 people. ‘We now have only 28 at the APEC Authority,’ he said.

Five VIP aircraft, including the US President’s plane, will be housed at Jacksons Airport. Talks are underway to have some official aircraft located at Cairns, ‘paid for at commercial rates’. Three hundred buses will be used to take delegates to and from their meetings.

Most media will be accommodated at the Pacific Games Village, which will be renovated, even though it is only two years old.

Key official APEC meetings in the lead-up to the summit are:

6-8 October 2017: APEC Transport Ministers’ meeting. This will be based at the Stanley Hotel and delegates will visit Alotau in Milne Bay on October 8.

5-6 December 2017: First Senior Officials Meeting

29 January–10 February 2018: Senior Officials Meeting.

23 April–5 May 2018: Senior Officials Meeting

13-28 August 2018: Senior Officials Meeting

12-18 November: Leaders’ Summit


  1. Lesley Bennett says

    Who or are there Provincial COORDINATORS for the PORT Moresby event and who do we contact in Port Moresby for Provincial input to the event??

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