President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed the Philippines’ full support to Papua New Guinea’ chairmanship of this year’s APEC meetings during the three-day state visit to the Philippines of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on May 15-17, 2018.
“The Philippines is positive that under Prime Minister O’Neill’s leadership, APEC will continue to be an important forum for ensuring sustained and inclusive economic growth and development in the region,” President Duterte said.
Prime Minister O’Neill in turn expressed his appreciation to President Duterte’s support. It is Papua New Guinea’s first time to host the APEC meetings since becoming a member about 21 years ago.
“It is a regional economic bloc, significantly important to both our countries and the 21 leaders of those APEC economies will be in Port Moresby in November 2018 and we will certainly welcome the President to be with us on that occasion,” Prim Minsiter O’Neill said.
President Duterte underscored the “strong and cordial bilateral relationship” between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. “Indeed over the past four decades, we have seen our ties steadily grow. What is different now is that the Philippines and Papua New Guinea want these ties to significantly broaden and deepen our concrete and mutually beneficial cooperation,” President Duterte said.
Prime Minister O’Neill lauded the “very strong presence of the Filipino investment community,” as well as the Filipinos working in Papua New Guinea, noting that Filipino workers in his country provide good technical support, especially in terms of health and education.
There are currently about 35,000 Filipinos in Papua New Guinea.