Papua New Guinea Minister Justin Tkatchenko opened a key policy meeting of APEC Transportation Ministers by underscoring the need for greater action to improve the lives of millions of people around the Asia-Pacific. He said this is fundamental to economic growth and development.

Transportation Ministers from APEC member economies convened in Port Moresby to improve connectivity and trade flows in the region. They are intent on easing integration bottlenecks to drive job creation and growth that benefits more people.

“The challenges we face in the transportation sector are not just domestic, they are regional and global and require multilateral action,” said Minister Tkatchenko.

“In the APEC region, the convergence of infrastructure and services will enhance our capacity and improve supply chain connectivity,” Minister Tkatchenko explained. “APEC economies represent more than half our global trade and the billions of people in our region depend on us to deliver efficient transportation systems that will provide investment, enhance business and create jobs.”

Ministers considered reforms to bridge port, airport and road network gaps, and facilitate efficient, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable supply chains connecting all areas of APEC economies.

“Our theme focuses on advancing regional economic integration and inclusive growth,” said Papua New Guinea Transport Minister Westly Nukundj, Chair of the APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting. “Resilient and sustainable transportation connectivity is very important for our region.”

“Taking advantage of digital developments, the region continues to grow and we need to focus on reducing emissions and providing a greener planet for all,” added Minister Nukundj. “We need to commit to the overarching agenda for improving connectivity and deepening regional economic integration through transportation safety and security.”

Ministers are also detailing next steps in APEC to connect workers, businesses and prospective customers across borders, guided by inputs from the private sector on their fast-evolving transportation requirements.

Earlier in the day, Transport Ministers held a dialogue with the private sector with a focus on increasing the efficiency of air traffic management and simultaneously reducing emissions and promoting sustainable travel through technological improvements and digitized awareness. The Ministers heard from representatives of International Air Transport Association, Air Niugini and Qantas.

Papua New Guinea will host APEC in 2018.

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