APEC Trade Ministers to Seek Common Ground in Port Moresby

Trade Ministers from the APEC member economies, the world’s largest trading area, are set to convene in Port Moresby in an effort to secure the region’s resurgent growth.

In focus during the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on 25-26 May will be ways to support and improve the multilateral trading system, deepen regional economic integration and connectivity, and foster sustainable, inclusive growth through digital development. This includes promoting ICT use to deepen market access for businesses of all sizes in the region.

Trade Ministers will draw upon policy consultations now underway here by trade and sectoral officials, to conclude with a meeting of APEC Senior Officials on 23-24 May. They will also take into account the findings of the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis to be revealed on 23 May as well as recommendations from the APEC Business Advisory Council.

“We recognize how important a period this is for trade and the momentum our economies need to make progress,” said Ivan Pomaleu, Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to APEC and 2018 Chair of APEC Senior Officials. “Our commitment to seek common ground in APEC is guided by a shared desire to improve the lives of our people.”

“Growth in the region continues to show encouraging signs but it is vulnerable to growing trade frictions,” added Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “We need to resolve trade worries, improve coordination to open digital opportunities and help reskill workers to help keep improving people’s livelihoods in the region.”

Trade Ministers will consider ideas presented by scholars from the APEC Study Center Consortium as well as policy prescriptions fleshed out by APEC technical working groups. Areas of emphasis will include assisting women-led entrepreneurship and trade, fisheries and food supply chains, and free trade agreements.

Trade Ministers will also take into account a briefing from World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 25 May.

“Ensuring that policy keeps up with the pace of change in the Asia-Pacific and channels innovation in sustainable and inclusive ways is a real challenge in the current environment,” Dr Bollard concluded. “Working together to advance practical trade solutions to continue the region’s growth momentum is important for us all.”

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Length-of field try saves Hunters

QRL Media
Sat 19 May 2018, 05:08 PM

A length-of-the-field try to Watson Boas try late in the game saw the PNG Hunters claim a home win against a spirited Central Queensland Capras side in Round 11.

Played in muggy heat, the game saw both sides struggle at times – with errors compounding the energy-sapping defence for both teams.

However, the Capras started brightly with Junior Kirisome over in the far left-hand corner in the second minute.

However, the Hunters were able to hit back 10 minutes later when Rahdly Brawa able to crash in under the posts after strong run got the Hunters into attacking position. A nice pass back inside to the unmarked forward saw the crowd go up at one.

The Hunters extended their lead soon after when Edene Gebbie was over – out to the far right of the field.

Neither side was able to cross again and the Hunters held a 10-4 lead at the break.

It was a close opening to the second half, and it too until just over 20 minutes left to go in the match for the defences to be breached – with the Capras pushing wide to the left for Maipele Morseau bringing the scores to 10-8.

Connor Broadhurst was successful from the sideline with the difficult conversion attempt and scores were locked up 10-10.

The later stages of the half showed how much both teams wanted the win – but trying too hard again saw them produce too many errors.

Ase Boas produced a key play when his kick lifted and swirled in the breeze, with the Capras falling backwards when trying to catch, and it dislodged for a knock on.

The Hunters immediately capitalised with Junior Rau crossing over on the left side. However, Boas was unsuccessful with the conversion and it was still anyone’s game at 14-10.

The Capras pushed hard and were nearly over – but the Hunters were able to hold them out and then land the knock-out blow when Watson Boas was able to read an attacking kick by the Capras with six minutes to go, picking up the ball off his toes when standing on his own try line before running away to seal the game.

Isi Henry Returns As Samarai-Murua MP

May 17, 2018

SAMARAI-Murua MP Isi Henry Leonard has remained as MP- elect after defeating close rival Gordon Wesley for the second time at the end of the National Court-ordered recount.

The returning officer presented the recount results on Tuesday afternoon before trial judge Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika who then endorsed the result, the judge’s office confirmed this yesterday.

The recount results saw Mr Leonard scoring 6257 votes ahead of Mr Wesley, who was the petitioner and former MP, with 6230 votes.

Sir Gibbs had ordered the recount on March 28 after upholding Mr Wesley’s petition on grounds of errors and omissions by the Electoral Commission.

Sir Gibbs then found that at the end of the count for the first preference votes, Mr Wesley scored 5198 votes which was reduced to 5042 going into elimination.

He said the error made without proper explanation would have affected the election result in which Mr Leonard was declared duly elecedt at 6342 votes after passing the absolute majority by 46 votes, ahead of Mr Wesley with 6249 votes.

Arrest warrant against Damaru set aside

An arrest warrant against Director of the National Fraud and Anti-corruption Directorate Mathew Damaru was set aside by the Waigani District Court early yesterday.

The arrest warrant was pursued against Damaru by a convicted prisoner over the allegation of false pretense.

The court found that the manner in which the arrest warrant was obtained was improper and ordered that the warrant be set aside.

The matter stammed from an earlier attack on Damaru on April 30, 2015, by a fellow police officer Stanley Poka, who is now serving time at the Bomana prison for assulting Damaru at his office.

The officer was arrested and was imprisioned by the courts in mid 2017.

The convicted officer claimed that Damaru conspired with a medical doctor and forged medical reports which landed him in prison.

The medical doctor was also arrested earlier through a similar warrant of arrest but the warrant was also set aside.

PNG singer Moses Tau passes on

Popular Papua New Guinean singer Moses Tau passed away few hours ago.

Details of his death is yet to be released but according to Port Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko, the singer who hails from Barakau village in the Central Province passed away just before 10pm tonight.

Tkatchenko expressed his sympathy on his official Facebook page adding that Tau was a sensational entaintainer and will be missed by many of his fan’s, families and friends throughout the country as well as the Pacific region.

“Everyone knows his music and he was a true showman,” Tkatchenko said.

Tau, commonly known as Moshanty, recently participated as a judge along with other judging panel at the Vocal Fusion singing contest hosted by EMTV and his passing will leave a huge gab in the music industry.

NEC Extends Contracts For Departmental

May 16, 2018

GOVERNOR of Bank of PNG, Loi Bakani, was among eight departmental heads who signed their contracts at Government House yesterday after their contracts were extended by the National Executive Council.

Mr Bakani will be serving his second term of seven years (14 years) and will be the second longest serving Governor of the Bank, normally called the Central Bank, behind Sir Henry Robert who served for 20 years.

The next person to serve the bank was Sir Wilson Kamit, who served for 10 years.

The other significant appointment and signing of the contract of employment is Jacob Popuna, who was appointed Public Curator and official trustee of PNG.

He becomes the first person to be officially appointed by the National Executive Council after a major restructure. Minister for Justice and Attorney General appointed the public curator in the past.

Mr Popuna said besides the change in the appointment process of the curator, the institution has also experienced change in the institutional structure, including the increase in staff from 37 in 2007 to about 80 staff today.

The youngest departmental head to sign his contract was Raul Yamuna, who was appointed managing director for Climate Change and Development Authority for a period of four years

The other head of departments appointed are Dr Sergei Bang, as Director General of National Agriculture Research Institute for a period of three years, Ari Koni, Secretary for Mining and Geohard Management for a period of four years, Dr James Vele Kaiulo as Managing Director of Kokonas Industry Koporesen for a two year term, Dennis Pjandi, deputy commissioner operation of Correction Services and Steven Pokanis as deputy secretary corporate affairs for a period of four years each.

The departmental heads all signed their contracts with the Governor-General at the Government House yesterday, witnessed by Ravugela Vagi deputy secretary for the Department of Personnel Management, the media, family members and colleagues.

SIM Registrations Extended

Minister for Communication, information and technology and Energy, Sam Basil announced the extension this afternoon.

Meantime Digicel’s Regional CEO for the Pacific, Oliver Coughlan said Digicel now has over 6,000 people in the country registering sim cards, 2,000 of those are based in the rural areas. Mr Coughlan said Digicel has registered over 1.4 million subscribers and is committed to register more. With the extension, Minister Basil also called on respective provincial Governments and MPs to work together with the NICTA, Mobile operators and the churches to cover the remaining unregistered sim cards.

Kumuls to feature in 2018 Pacific Test

Tue 15 May 2018
A weeklong celebration of Pacific culture has been confirmed for rugby league fans in the lead up to the 2018 Pacific Test Invitational at Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 23 June.

In what will be the first set of International Matches since the memorable Rugby League World Cup, players and officials from four nations – Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji – will gather in Sydney’s West following the conclusion of Round 15 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Fiji officially replaced Lebanon after the Cedars formally withdrew from participating late last month.

Campbelltown Athletics Track will host all four squads for the Pacific Test Fan Day on Wednesday June 20, with fans encouraged to come along to meet the players, take selfies, get autographs and enjoy cultural performances after school and into the evening.

Senior Manager of Pacific Strategy, Frank Puletua, encouraged fans to purchase their tickets early to avoid missing out following a sold-out event in 2017.

“Last year’s Pacific Test and the Rugby League World Cup showed just how much rugby league means to our Pacific players and the communities they represent,” Mr Puletua said.

“The players get to connect with their culture, their peers and the wider community. I encourage everyone to come along and witness the colour, flair, power and passion that the Pacific Test Invitational produces both on and off the field.

“It is truly something special.”

General public tickets are on sale now, with adult tickets from $15 and family tickets from $45. Club member adult tickets start from as low as $12 and family tickets from $35.

To purchase tickets, head to nrl.com/tickets.

Research Conference To Promote Regional Economic Integration

14/05/2018

The PNG APEC Study Center represents a huge opportunity for researchers at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute, in PNG and abroad to collaborate and bring regional experience to solve local issues.

The PNG APEC Study Center represents a huge opportunity for researchers at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute, in PNG and abroad to collaborate and bring regional experience to solve local issues.

These connections and partnership across the APEC consortium network have proven in the past to contribute to stronger, more inclusive public policy.

SOM Chairman Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu in his keynote address at the opening of the APEC Study Centers Consortium Conference today said there are emerging digital issues that PNG hopes to take forward in 2018 that is going to help the country solve some of its own connectivity challenge.

“Innovation and block chain technology is highly relevant and potentially huge. “We certainly hope to spotlight some of the structural adjustments that are needed when we start thinking about how to make digital communication more accessible and cheaper.

“PNG wants to concentrate on digital issues in APEC in order to build the connections needed in trade, education, health and in making financial services more inclusive and accessible in remote areas,” said Ambassador Pomaleu. Ambassador Pomaleu further urged that work must continue towards APEC’s goal of achieving a comprehensive integrated Pacific by 2025 and the implementation of the APEC connectivity blue print 2015-2025.

“The important thing in terms of how we benefit from APEC is our subscription to the general notion of an open economy certainly in relation to configuring best practice, policies and trying to ensure an equal playing field within our economy regarding government facilitated trade and investment.

“The challenge for PNG will be to strike a balance so that the actions taken are also relevant to other member economies and at the high end of the development spectrum.

“Being part of the prestigious network of APEC study centers adds a new long-term dimension to our APEC engagement, together with our public and private partners the PNG APEC Study Center will foster research and academic analysis that supports the APEC vision of regional economic integration,” Ambassador Pomaleu stressed.

The APEC Study Centers Consortium Conference is an annual event and in 2018 has been facilitated by the PNG NRI, the 2-day meeting began today in Port Moresby as part of the Senior Officials Meeting 2.

Innovation locally can bring about regional economic growth

14/05/2018

As part of APECs drive for inclusivity, the Second Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings began with the 2018 APEC Study Centre’s consortium conference under the theme “Inclusive growth opportunities in an increasingly connected region.”

As part of APEC’s drive for inclusivity, the Second Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings began with the 2018 APEC Study Centre’s consortium conference under the theme “Inclusive growth opportunities in an increasingly connected region.”

Chairman Dr Osbourne Sanida simplified this by saying it is about how more and more people can be engaged in the production of goods and services for economic growth. “When talking about connectivity we must note that Papua New Guinea as with any other APEC economy is not an island.

“We are all connected and as we talk about IT or ICT there is inclusive connectivity in that it associates with different aspects as well so in the context of today’s session, the key point to note are the important role that innovation and technology plays in us achieving inclusive economic growth,” Dr Sanida said.

Dr Jeffery Noro from the Papua New Guinea Department of Science and Technology alluded similar points during in his presentation on Development of Domestic Innovation Systems as Drivers for Economic Growth. “Innovation has been a key driver for a lot of growth of the GDP of the economy but unfortunately in PNG for the last 40 years since independence, we have actually very limited policy on direction for investment into research and development of innovation as part of a national policy direction to promote growth,” Dr Noho stressed. With APEC discussions on the digital future, Dr Noho says these discussions will reap a lot of benefit and technological developments, while the ability of a human workforce. “The intention is to learn from other economies who bring these ideas into PNG’s social cultural context because Papua New Guinea’s challenges are very different and for us to think about innovation is not just in terms of science but also social innovation, how do we rethink the way to do things in this country,” Dr Noho added. Karina Kudaeva from the Russian APEC Study Centre spoke on key technology infrastructure constraints and strategies as APEC economies gear up for the digital revolution. However, she says that without a strong ICT foundation, digital innovation may be harder to reach.

Her research on information technology has found that Papua New Guinea is the most expensive of all APEC economies, with the lowest number of usage per head per population and also that the use of digital technology by government bodies and agencies is also at the lowest level of all APEC economies.

“When we talk about Papua New Guinea, we have to understand that being an island economy, one of the reasons for a higher cost is because of the borrowed network from neighbouring economies, and also in terms of cost, you need to have more people interested in the internet, the digital literacy rate has to be raised,” Ms Kudaeva said.

She adds that with a good digital infrastructure in place, huge progress can be made in Papua New Guinea.

The 2018 APEC Study Centres Consortium Conference ends tomorrow.