APEC trade officials meet in Port Moresby to discuss trade and digital future

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-25 11:25:08|Editor: Yurou
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Rimbink Pato (2nd L), Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and co-chair of the 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, delivers his opening remarks during the meeting at International Convention Center of Port Moresby, PNG, on May 25, 2018. The 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting began in the South Pacific nation of PNG on Friday. (Xinhua/Jingchen Hu)

By Levi J Parsons

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting has begun in the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Friday.

On the agenda will be a focus on deepening economic integration and connectivity through digital development as well as sustainable and inclusive growth.

Ahead of the APEC Leaders meeting in November, this year's trade summit holds special significance in the face of growing tensions stemming from the recent implementation of tariff barriers in the United States.

"The meeting is being convened in the midst of rising sentiments in some quarters against the multilateral trading system," PNG Foreign Minister and co-chair of the meeting Rimbink Pato said in his opening remarks.

"As we gather in Port Moresby, let us resolve to send a strong message to the a global community that APEC believes in a free, fair, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system."

"We must ensure that APEC is a key driver of global growth creating jobs for our people, reducing poverty and ensuring that no-one is left behind."

A unique feature of the trade conference will be a series of technical working groups led by business and academic experts.

These committees will have the opportunity to present ministers with ideas about how to improve policy in specific areas such as free trade agreements, sustainable fishing, food supply chains and female entrepreneur initiatives.

Another major focus of the meeting will be digital communications opportunities for business and how new technologies can help grow trade in the region.

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KEY WORDS: trade