MEETINGS between Papua New Guinean and Australian officials have taken place in Port Moresby as PNG prepares to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2018.

Then-Chief Secretary to Government Manasupe Zurenuoc said the meetings with Australia will identify areas where the two countries can work together to deliver safety and security preparations for the APEC summit, as well as advancing policy development.

These meetings will be the first of a series of consultations with the 20 other member economies that will take part in APEC Papua New Guinea 2018.

Sir Manasupe said safety and security preparations are one of the most intensive components of preparing to host APEC, adding that initial meetings would cover issues such as airspace co-ordination, maritime security and special forces training.

“We will have around 200 APEC meetings between now and the end of 2018, and we have to do everything we can to provide a secure environment for our visitors,” he said.

“Security preparations range for general safety issues and vehicle movements, through to operations to ensure the safety of Presidents and Prime Ministers from global threats.”

“We thank Australia for the support that they are providing for our APEC preparations.”

APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 will bring more than 10,000 delegates to locations around the nation in 2018.

It will advance policy matters that include increasing regional trade and investment, and development in sectors that include agriculture, maritime resources, tourism, mining and transportation.

Sir Manasupe said PNG would work with APEC economies to advance policy objectives and ensure security co-operation.

“As host and Chair of the policy development process, we will have the opportunity to bring into the discussion issues that are important to developing countries around the Asia-Pacific, particularly development issues that matter to our island nations.”

PNG was looking to past hosts for their perspective in advancing this agenda, with Australia, as the host of APEC in 2007 and the G20 in 2014, being one of these.

“We also have ongoing consultation with Philippines as the host in 2015, as well as Peru and Vietnam as upcoming hosts,” he said.