In Papua New Guinea, Executive Secretary highlights business solutions for sustainable development

24 Jun 2019

On 20 and 21 June, ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana travelled to Papua New Guinea to participate in the Asia-Pacific Business Forum and hold bilateral meetings. Beginning her mission, she met with the UN Country Team and Voluntary National Review team to discuss preparations to evaluate the country’s Sustainable Development Goal targets ahead of the High-Level Political Forum next month.

Ms. Alisjahbana met the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape whom she joined at the annual Asia-Pacific Business Forum. Opening the Forum, the Executive Secretary noted the importance of integration to foster business development. “Connectivity is especially relevant in the Pacific context, where the challenges associated with geographic isolation and remoteness have hindered trade and investment among Pacific island countries and with major international markets. Enhancing connectivity in this subregion demands increased investments in transport networks and ICT infrastructure.”

Ms. Alisjahbana also held meetings with key government and development organizations representatives, including Hon. Richard Maru, Minister of Planning and Monitoring; Barbara Age, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Hon. Sam Basil, Minister of Treasury; Vajira Piyasena, Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Port; Roshan Abeyesundere, Chief Finance Officer of Fiji Port; Shaun Gilchrist, President of Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chief Executive Officer of Azure Water; Corey Huber, Executive Member of Business Resilience Council Vanuatu; and representatives from Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The Forum underscored the sustainable solutions business can offer to meet the infrastructure and connectivity needs of rural and urban communities in Asia and the Pacific. The Forum is jointly organized by ESCAP, the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Papua New Guinea Investment and Promotion Authority, and supported by the Business Council of Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.