By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
The 2016 APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit has concluded with APEC Leaders releasing the Lima Declaration that seeks to strengthen connectivity, food security and development around the Asia-Pacific.
Meeting in Lima, Peru, under the theme of ‘Quality Growth and Human Development’, APEC Leaders have committed to maintain focus on advancing free trade.
As part of this commitment, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said APEC will continue to take into account the circumstances of all economies in the region and recognise that not all elements of globalisation are beneficial for all people.
“It is important that we maintain our focus on the arrangements for free trade that have so far served us well over many years,” the Prime Minister said to fellow Leaders at their meeting in Lima.
“Papua New Guinea is fully supportive of the removing of explicit and hidden barriers to trade throughout the region, but it must be in a measured manner.
“Sentiments being expressed by people all around the world today are that globalisation is not necessarily beneficial for everyone.
“As a result of that, many of the most vulnerable people have been affected by some of the arrangements and agreements that we have put in place over the years.
“Yes, there has been growth, but there have also been people affected by the loss of jobs and income, and many small businesses and micro businesses have not been able to be competitive when larger multi-nationals come into their markets,” stated the PM.
He said this is particularly the case in emerging economies, as well as for some of the developed economies.
“Despite some structural reforms that have been underway in our respective economies, and how we manage our state owned enterprises, these issues continue to linger.
“APEC has a responsibility in ensuring that we work together in enhancing how we move capital, goods and services, and skilled labour right across our economies, so that we can enhance value chains and continue to enable growth within our economies.”
Prime Minister O’Neill also called on Leaders to enhance focus on APEC’s evolving role and objectives for the forum over the next decades.
The Economic Leaders' Meeting was held from 19–20 November.
(Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, jokes around with fellow leaders during the group photo at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. The forum closed with a joint pledge to work toward a sweeping new free trade agreement that would include all 21 members as a path ‘sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth’, despite the political climate. – AP)