Connectivity Challenges Hinder Development In The Pacific Region

Economic feasibility, capacity constraints and political will noted as key challenges, Public private partnership highlighted as a facilitator of connectivity development 

By Leonnie Wayang

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 20, 2017) – A lot of challenges have been discussed on the importance of connectivity in the Southwest Pacific Dialogue second sub-regional workshop on connectivity development.

Foreign Affairs acting deputy secretary (policy) Kapi Maro said deliberations had been made on the importance of connectivity in the region and how it could contribute to development for respective countries.

The member countries of the Southwest Pacific Dialogue are Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Timor Leste.

Timor Leste was not able to attend the workshop that took place on March 16-17 at Laguna Hotel, Port Moresby.

Mr Maro said during the past two days, the presentations and discussions focused on the theme promoting public private partnership in connectivity development.

"We need to bring about more development in our respective countries and the region as a whole.

"The existing challenges and gaps in the three pillars of connectivity development as identified include physical, institution and people-to-people connectivity.

"The existing challenges and gaps have been identified as well; either in this workshop and in previous meetings and these includes economic feasibility, capacity constraints and political will.

"The outcomes of this workshop should contribute to ongoing work on how to overcome and address the various challenges to connectivity development," Mr Maro said.

"Public private partnership is rightly being recognised as a means to move forward and progress work in these areas.

"This is ongoing work for all of us as delegates attending this workshop," he told participants during his closing remarks last Friday.

"I wish each of you every success, as you return to your respective countries as well as to those of us here in Papua New Guinea.

"And we reaffirm to finalise the outcome report of this workshop as part of that ongoing work going forward."

PNG Post-Courier
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