PORT MORESBY, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting wrapped up here on Thursday, outlining the need to boost connectivity and deepen economic integration at a time when the global economy faces "heightened risk."
Papua New Guinean Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, who was also chair of the discussion, said in his opening remarks that "inclusiveness must be our underlying principle for us to make this meeting really meaningful for all our citizens. No one should be left behind."
With the theme "Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future," the meeting focused on expanding new technologies to enable small, medium and micro businesses to grow.
Pato emphasized to Xinhua after the talks that sustainable infrastructure development, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, is a central factor to establishing inclusive growth, structural reform and prosperity in the region.
"We need to look at how reforms can be progressed to ensure that infrastructure development includes accessibility to the digital economy and e-commerce," Pato said, adding that the development sector has a key role to play in the facilitation of trade and investment, as well as connectivity.
Highlighting the importance of free and open trade across the region, Pato noted how vital it has been to the recent success of Papua New Guinea and its citizens.