By PETER ESILA, The National PNG – PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday accepted from China the multi-million kina International Convention Centre in Port Moresby, saying the country is experiencing an “infrastructure revolution”.
The Chinese government will also build a six-lane road linking Waigani Drive to Parliament House, and will also upgrade the Poreporena freeway.
The total cost is K110 million.
O’Neill thanked Ambassador Xue Bing, the people and the government of China for the “gifts” which would help PNG successfully host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in November.
“Many Apec meetings will be held in this Convention Centre. So Papua New Guinea as we see today is experiencing an infrastructure revolution right across the country,” he said.
“This road and the convention centre will be used by our leaders and our ministers and those who are visiting us during Apec and beyond.
“Papua New Guineans will use these facilities for decades to come.
“I can assure you that many projects that we are funding through partnership such as this will continue to help
PNG host major events in the years to come.”
O’Neill said the hosting of Apec provided PNG an unique opportunity to promote free trade and investments, plus infrastructure and technical support from other countries.
“The world will learn of our country and the changes and the developments that are taking place,” he said.
“Apec is a group of 21 countries. They consist of some of the world’s largest economies accounting for half of the global trade and more than half of the global Gross Domestic Product.
“PNG is the smallest among the 21 nations. But our hosting Apec meetings certainly will propel our own development in making sure that we keep up with the changes that are happening around the Apec community.
“The Apec engagement will help us make sure that we continue to not only gain access to new markets but also build our own capacities, technical capacities in agriculture, in transportation, tourism, telecommunication and of course energy.”
He said the main focus of Apec 2018 would be access to the digital economy.
Ambassador Xue said the projects demonstrated the strong support and confidence the Chinese government was giving to PNG to host Apec.
The centre occupies 9875 square metres and has 700 seats in the conference hall plus other conference rooms and offices.