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Estimated cost around $105 million

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 9, 2011) – Papua New Guinea plans to host the 26th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in 2018.

But it will be expensive – at least 230 million kina [US$105 million] – although China will help.

Foreign Affairs deputy secretary Lucy Bogari revealed this yesterday when briefing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on the 19th APEC meeting which he will be attending in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the weekend.

O’Neill was told the 2018 meeting may cost the government about 231 million kina.

But the government believes it is worth it because the country’s economy can expect up to earn US$2 billion from member nations.

To assist PNG prepare for the meeting, the Chinese government has offered to build a convention centre with state-of-the-art facilities as a gift.

PNG became a member of APEC in 1993 but has not hosted any meeting since.

Meanwhile, O’Neill said the Hawaii meeting should open opportunities for Papua New Guinea in the area of trade and the strengthening of bilateral relations with the big economies of the world.

"I assure the people of PNG that our government strives to achieve what is best for the country as per our talks with each of the member nations. The outcomes of our talks must be in the best interest of the nation. Our government will negotiate with the U.S. government and other member nations to have access to the U.S. tuna market, review the U.S. aid package towards developing a vast tuna resource, and sovereignty issues attributed to fishing in PNG waters," O’Neill said.

The APEC member nations are Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Peru, Russia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Chile, Canada, and Mexico.

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