Public holidays declared in Port Moresby due to APEC summit, says CEO


The two days before the APEC Leaders meeting, November 15th and 16th, have been declared public holidays in the National Capital District of Port Moresby, according to Chris Hawkins, the Chief Executive Officer of APEC Papua New Guinea. He told an APEC summit briefing that road shut downs will be limited.

APEC PNG’s Chris Hawkins

‘There will be interruptions, but only for a short period of time,’ he said, adding that the event ‘really starts on the 12th of November (Monday).’

Meetings on the Monday will take place at the International Convention Centre and there will be an APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting at the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium.

But Hawkins said there will be no impact on business for the Monday and Tuesday (12th and 13th of November).

On the Wednesday, the ministers will begin arriving. On the Thursday, said Hawkins, there will be ‘big motorcades’.

‘Anyone who has seen that take place, imagine that multiplied by 20.

‘And you also have the Pacific Island leaders, who will be arriving on the Thursday as well.’

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State visit

Thursday will also see the beginning of the state visit from the President of China, Xi Jinping, said Hawkins.

‘A state visit is a big event—a lot of cars and a lot of people—particularly with an economy the size of China and its president.

‘Saturday is the big day.’

‘So on the 15th and 16th there will be a lot of interruptions. That is why they are public holidays.

‘During that period it will be more like what you see in Christmas—during Christmas in Port Moresby it is very quiet.

‘There will be a lot of people who take advantage of it to travel outside of Port Moresby.’


Saturday ‘is the big day’, said Hawkins.

‘That is the start of the APEC Leaders’ meetings. It begins with the APEC CEO Summit in the morning.’

Saturday and Sunday are the only time road networks will be closed for extended periods. Alternative and feeder roads may be affected.

The Town area will stay open but there will be heightened security.

‘There will not be a lot of people on the streets,’ said Hawkins.

‘There will be no flight restrictions.’

Leaders’ arrivals at hotels will be in alphabetical order and are scheduled at 90 second intervals

Primary roads will be shut down for arrivals and departures only; roads will be open while meetings are on.

Hawkins said the Port Moresby airport can only park seven 747s. Other planes will be diverted to other airports, ‘most likely Australia.’

Additional commercial incoming flights will be added to cater to increased demand into Port Moresby.

Hawkins said there would be no embargoes on flights into and out of Port Moresby, and there will be no flight restrictions.

Pacific Islands

The Hilton hotel, scheduled to open in September, will host the gala dinner. Source: BAI

Hawkins said on the Saturday afternoon the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has invited all the Pacific leaders to take part in the dialogue with all APEC leaders.

‘This will be a challenge for the Pacific Island nations to interact with APEC member economies that represent half of global trade and global GDP.’

In the evening, the gala dinner will be held at the Hilton hotel.

Hawkins added that although there had been ‘some delays in construction’ the hotel is expected to open in September.

Road network

Hawkins said Sunday ‘is essentially the time when the leaders are in what is called the Leaders’ retreat. That goes from the morning to the afternoon.’

He added that PNG had its ‘challenges’ but one of its advantages is the relative simplicity of the Port Moresby road network.

‘In other cities the metropolis has a labyrinth of roads: the older cities in Asia or South America.

‘Leaders have to come from every direction. The organisers have to shut down so many roads.

‘It is a major headache. For us we have a relatively small city.

‘Our hotel locations are on primary roads for the most part. It is a lot easier for us.’


Other points

  1. Long term residents in hotels will have resident passes. There will be routine screening.

  2. Police will ask for identification for people trying to get to work via checkpoints, so staff will need to carry government issued ID.

  3. ID checkpoints will be random per security requirements.

  4. To get access to the CEO Cruise Ship accreditation will be required if you are living in the vicinity or working on the ship.

  5. There will be no harbour restrictions for watercraft.

  6. There is planning underway to protect water, power and internet.

  7. PNG Air’s commercial operations will continue and the number of incoming flights will be increased. There will be no restriction to parking and the drop-off area. The only exception will be when the big three come in: US, China and Russia.

  8. APEC has been in discussion with Air Niugini, who have organised additional flights to cope with increased demand.


  1. Anton Sumuk Simbai says

    An event of such magnitude like APEC for PNG to host is a landmark. We have hosted the Pacific Games in 2015 after so many criticisms so let us prove the critics wrong for 2018 APEC.

    It is an opportune time to expose to the leading economies to conduct trade and investment. PNG has to spend for APEC as all events cost money but the leaders have the moral obligation to report transparently on the cost and expenses for the APEC to the taxpayers in PNG.

    In order to grow PNG economy, we have to spend, take risks to expose to the leading economies, learn from them and start doing business with them. This is the way forward.

  2. Robert Jacob says

    Our leaders must emphasis strongly and invite investors in Agriculture more than any other sector. We have to tell and show to the world that we are blessed in land and its fertility more than any other thing. As such we must try to invite countries like Thailand and Vietnam to come and invest in agriculture, especially rice which is become common food staple in our country.

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