Why hosting APEC will transform Papua New Guinea


The APEC meeting in 2018 in Port Moresby will be a major boost for Papua New Guinea, David Toua, President of the Business Council of PNG (BCPNG), tells Business Advantage PNG. Analysts say in the past benefits have been shown to outweigh the costs.

Paga Hill and APEC Haus Credit: Stephen Rae

Paga Hill and APEC Haus site last week.  Credit: Stephen Rae/Media Haus

‘There are two great opportunities to be realised from hosting APEC,’ says David Toua, President of the Business Council of PNG. ‘The first is to invite people to our country, and showcase its enormous potential as an investment destination.

‘The second is to bring our people closer to the global market beyond our borders.’

The Business Council's David Toua

The Business Council’s David Toua.

Toua says the e-commerce SME summit hosted in Port Moresby in April, 2016, provided ‘a glimpse of the entrepreneurial and technological opportunities that our people and our businesses can access.’

Is it worth it?

The experience of other countries that have hosted the event suggests benefits outweigh the costs, according to Francis Hualupmomi, a Political Scientist at New Zealand’s Victoria University in Wellington.

‘For instance, the Philippines, as a host of two APEC meetings (1995 and 2015), is currently experiencing a growth rate of 8 per cent, partially as a result of heavy investment in between those years.’

Hualupmomi points to increased investment from tourists and business, which results in job creation; restored credibility of the state as a host of future high-level meetings; the boosting of PNG’s socio-economic infrastructure, and enhanced defence capability and capacity.

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In the long-term, he says, the meeting will ‘deepen PNG’s trade and investments in the region.’

‘The construction of the purpose-built APEC Haus convention centre is expected to be completed by August.’

The national government has allocated K800 million for the event and preparations are ‘on track’, according to PNG’s APEC Ambassador, Ivan Pomaleu.

He says the Committee on APEC Policy Issues has focused on four areas: enhancing regional economic integration; achieving sustainable and inclusive growth; moving towards structural reforms and enhancing human capital development. A calendar of events will be ready in mid-2017.

APEC Haus–Leaders’ Conference Centre

Ela Beach and APEC Haus Credit: Stephen Rae

Ela Beach and the APEC Haus site.  Credit: Stephen Rae/Media Haus

The construction of the purpose-built APEC Haus convention centre is expected to be completed by August, 2018. LNG producer Oil Search is carrying out the work, which is funded through a tax credit scheme.

APEC Haus is being built on reclaimed land near Ela Beach in Port Moresby’s central business district. APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko claims the unique design of the facility, which resembles a Lakatoi Sail, will rival other iconic world sites.

‘It will be just like what the Sydney Opera House is to Australia,’ he says.

APEC Haus will host the Leaders’ Summit and the Leaders’ Dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Other accommodation

A K85 million development at the new Paga Hill Estate, which is adjacent to APEC Haus, will play a key role in accommodating APEC participants. It consists of a six-star hotel, 68 serviced apartments, commercial buildings, restaurants, a cultural centre, a marina and an international cruise line terminal.

‘Guests will be accommodated in new and existing hotels, and three cruise liners.’

By the time the summit starts, Port Moresby could have as many as 2590 high-end hotel rooms, and conference capacity for many thousands. It will be a sharp contrast to five years ago, when the city had just 600 high-end hotel rooms.

According to Chris Hawkins, Chief Executive of the APEC Authority, guests will be accommodated in new and existing hotels, and three cruise liners.

‘There are sufficient rooms for leaders to have the rooms they require,’ he says.

The pool at the Hotel Stanley

The pool at the Hotel Stanley

One of the new hotels is The Stanley, which opened in July, 2016. It features 429 rooms, a plenary conference centre for up to 1000 and a sit-down dining room for 1200.

Another new hotel is the 212-room Hilton, which will be ready by late 2017. A K550 million upgrade of Jackson’s national and international airport is due for completion by August, 2018.

Roads and tourism

Two key roads have been built to provide easy access from the airport and between APEC conference facilities. Six new roads have been built at a cost of K700 million. These have eased congestion.

The Paga Hill ring road connects all precincts on Paga Hill and the waterfront, as well as linking the city centre, the Port and Ela Beach.

‘It will generate many opportunities for the tourism industry.’

The 2018 APEC event and the meetings will generate many opportunities for the tourism industry: not just the nation’s capital, but also the provinces of East New Britain, Morobe, Madang, Eastern Highlands, Milne Bay and New Ireland. All have been selected to host APEC meetings.

It offers visitors the chance to experience different parts of the country.


  1. Since Papua New Guinea has already hosted the APEC summit i wonder what next step it is taking at the moment in terms of development. In my observations so far i’ve realized that there has been not much changes in the rural areas compared to urban areas in terms of road,health and education services which is unfair because part of the wealth used to host the APEC summit belongs to the people residing in rural areas, furthermore they have equal rights as the people living in urban societies. After all, the sole purpose of hosting the APEC summit is to bring development.

    • Lucas Kurgi says

      Absolutely true…In our LLG health worker sell K1 for a tablet…LLGSIP is not forth coming neither Ward SIP even councillors payment still pending.

  2. A chance in the history of the country to host this meeting of grander scale. I would like to thank the leadership of O’Neill Government. I will remember this event if the current government push for DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING of all our natural resources. Not foreign companies to have a bigger stake in the development projects and economic opportunities but the State Owned Enterprises to take lead with local contractors with few partnership from other countries, where it will create more job opportunities in the plantation and factories. We seriously need better deals!! Not those politicians are used as puppets by Powerful economies and Transnational Companies to plunder our natural resources leaving as barren without any tangible developments! We have enough resources, where we should not be debt ridden. Economic Power to regain our birthright!…DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING WAY FORWARD!!

  3. Alphonse Aime says

    The APEC event should be seen in all fronts: Economic benefits, Social benefits and political benefits. This will give us the deeper insight into evaluating APEC and the type of benefits it would bring into the country. And these should be measured in real values rather than hypothetical figures and numbers.

  4. Anthony Praiseworthy says

    Inviting and hosting world leaders to meet in Papua New Guinea is a historical milestone for this nation. it is about time this nation walk out of its comfort zone and see what is out there to benefit its people. It is also a great venue to let the world know what PNG is like, what it can offer the world in terms of trade relations, and what the world could offer in return. Those countries who opened up to build trade relations across the globe have experienced the massive and long-term benefits of exploring and developing global relations. […]

  5. I have been supportive for APEC, however, I am also feeling that such developing nations like PNG may become spectators on our own land whilst countries like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan take centre through Free Trade policy and APEC. It might create loopholes for the protection of national sovereignty ultimately luring into exploiting our livelihoods.

  6. Francis Hualupmomi says

    What is the use of APEC when corruption and a bloated and inefficient public service are unable to even implement domestic policies into reality? Papua New Guineans have a cargo cultist mentality. The expectation is that something from outside will come into the country, and all of a sudden changes will happen. It takes serious investments and strategic, selfless leadership to become an industrialized, developed economy. Use your energies to deal with internal problems like corruption, crime and social disorder before you start anticipating unattainable benefits from a four-day event…..

  7. Kaipel Yennis says

    the APEC is the multi event in the global arena for social development in-terms of human to human development in business, agriculture, tourism etc…, I there for supporting the country to host this event to bring necessities development in the country to reduce the growing gape of poverty that hidden the society. hosting this big event is amazing for me as a student.

  8. Nellie Varmari says

    how can we get ourselves involved?

  9. Loajoy Hitolo says

    APEC as mentioned will benefit our economy and or the interest of the government in terms of industrial, trade and investment in PNG and the ASIA pacific region. Moreover, strengthening ties and improving trading beyond our borders. How does this APEC serve the interest of the people? individually, how does APEC/ how will it benefit the lives of individuals at a lower level? is it long term or short term beneficial? i’m curious.

  10. James Fidelis says

    Hi, Papua New Guineans, I as for one greatly appreciate the APEC Member Economies Leaders Summit Meeting which will be taking place in our country. It is one of the biggest International event after forty three years of independence. I belief this meeting will open our mind sets to think bigger, globally and participate in business activities internationally. This special even will also promote trade, tourism and investment into our undeveloped beautiful country. In doing so our economy will grow and will alleviate poverty. So please let us stop complaining and support this even in one way or the other. Thanks.

  11. It is better to host APEC because people of Papua New Guinea will better understand the sort of trade,tourism and investment opportunities that are exist here in PNG

  12. Am very proud of such a international conference that will be hosting in PNG. Thou it may bring various economic benefits to our People. But I as the concern citizen of this young beautiful country have two questions that I feel that it is right for me to express. First questions is that, government and professionals are forcasting and talking too much about economic benefits, Is the economic benefits are going to meaning fully benefitting every citizens who are living in various parts of this country? Secondly Is there any thing bad about this APEC conference? We as human beings have these very important skill so call reasoning and wisdom. I believe our today’s SERVANT know what decision they are making.

  13. Desmond says

    I Wonder what’s going to be the social benefit or what impact will APEC have on the Social and Political lives of People of Papua New Guinea. All comments are welcomed.

  14. Michael Degba says

    Am glad because of a new era which our country- PNG to experience economic diverse and promote our natural resources to the world market. To enhance capacity building and alleviate poverty.

  15. Matex wam says

    Am excited for hosting APEC in PNG because in the medium or long run it will minimize poverty in PNG.As I am concern APEC will profitise and creating opportunity impacts resulting in high demand and positive opportunities and economical growth…

  16. Kol Leekun says

    No matter what circumstances coming on our way to interfer APEC summit. APEC summit is a must to be host this year in Papua New Guinea. From the past experience of previous countries like Philippines, Vietnam and others, just after the summit there was great change in their economic and the well-being of its people. As a proud Papua New Guinean, I fully support and welcome 2018 APEC to be hosted here.

  17. 2018 Apec summit in Papua New Guinea will boost Economic status of our Nation and accelerate the 2050 Cooperate Vision. Am so glad that it is going to be hosted in my own country.

  18. Am glad as everyone who is for the APEC to be hosted in PNG. The matter of fact is all folks are aspired of real economic boom. And my question is do we really know how APEC will lift our economy? How do other participating countries will invest in our country? Is every business opportunity shared evenly among locals who are ambitious to do it? we need some possible advantages of APEC to be highlighted as the outcome of this meeting so that we can be aware and work towards it.

  19. Selimon Gindi Likoc says

    I’m glad because hosting of APEC meeting will put PNG on the spotlight meaning it’ll show all top economies that we’re capable of hosting events of such magnitude. However, the question we should ask is? Apart from business houses, transport, hotels, etc which are located in Port Moresby who will definitely be benefiting handsomely from it, what about other 20 provinces, how exactly will they benefit and is hosting of APEC will benefit entire country or just Port Moresby only? Please justify nationwide development as a direct consequences of APEC and not just Moresby.

  20. Although the APEC will affect the populace of PNG, we must look forward to the long term benefits because as a country, we cannot function well if we do not have the financial means to support the needs of the people. Thus, such exposure will attract investors and in having investment in our country, it will help a lot in alleviating the current situations our people are facing.

  21. Danny Minamao says

    I am student and am writing an essay about the hosting of the APEC meeting. I need some information on what good we will get out from hosting the APEC meeting socially, economically, graphically and politically. Please help….

  22. As per PNG host, the APEC leaders summit this year what should that PNG has adequate investment in Human Capital Development for it to become concerptive force in this global community?

  23. Ano Nuella says

    Such a wonderful idea in hosting Apec meeting here
    In PNG because it will help boost the economic level of our country..

  24. It’s benefitisity of png

  25. I’m so glade for such developments taking place in our lovely and beautiful home Papua New Guinea. I hope that the hosting of 2018 APEC event will bring forward many opportunities to the business organizations, other institutions and also indigenous citizens of this great nation.

  26. Peter Jared Pupu says

    HI……….EVERYONE my name is P. Jared Pupu I am a 3rd year in Business Administration (BBM) from University of Papua New Guinea. I suggest that this is great opportunities for PNG. The impact of APEC will significantly benefits more industries and growing construction companies in our country. Well I am proud of the development and would agree that Hosting such event is profitable. Despite these criticism by those previous comment I for one greatly in favor for the event.

  27. More should be spent on Building Universities and colleges and improve area of science and Technology.. As well as maintaining ties with other country

  28. Well Iam proud of the development and would agree that Hosting such event is profitable. Despite these critism by those previous comment I for one greatly in favour for the event😊

  29. One needs to ask what hosting several APEC meetings does for poverty reduction and job creation. Having an oversupply of high end hotel rooms is not progress – nor having a flashy convention centre that is only used for the occasional government workshop.

    APEC does give PNG its ‘five minutes of fame’ when the US President and others will fly in for the day. But it is important to keep things in perspective.

  30. Exciting opportunities for PNG. Employment impacts should be positive we are all hoping. The impact of APEC will be felt across industries / resulting in positive employment outcomes in several sectors namely hospitality and tourism and security.

  31. Richard says

    APEC Haus convention centre is expected to be completed by August, 2018, not 2017…

  32. Globiz says

    Please involve as many indigenous cultural groups to participate in the event. This will be a win-win situation for all. The big winners are property developers and event organisers nevertheless an opportunity to showcase our beloved country.

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