A Week in PNG

14 Oct 2018

The Australia APEC Study Centre just finished up a big week in PNG as the country heads into the final month of preparations before hosting the APEC Summit in November. 

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The participants of the Workshop on Negotiating Free Trade Agreements

The Australia APEC Study Centre just finished up a big week in PNG as the country heads into the final month of preparations before hosting the APEC Summit in November.

The Australian APEC Study Centre (AASC) hosted two events during the week; a three-day workshop on Negotiating Free Trade Agreements and a Blockchain Briefing for Parliamentarians.

The workshop on Negotiating Free Trade Agreements, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, provided an opportunity for government officials to build capacity of the skills and knowledge required to successfully negotiate trade agreements. Lead by trade negotiator Elizabeth Ward and economist Adam McCarty, the participants spent three days learning about the economics of trade, the frameworks of free trade agreements and finished off the practical exercises to identify PNG’s demands from a trade agreement.

The Blockchain Briefing for Parliament, in partnership with ABAC PNG and Blockchain Pasifik, aimed to broaden parliamentarians’ knowledge and use of Blockchain technology in the development context. The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub presented a report on Blockchain including applications for civil society, international aid transparency, identity management, property register, supply chain and trade. The briefing was followed by a networking reception.

A highlight of the week was attending the opening of the PNG APEC Study Centre’s new facility. Attended by the Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis and PNG APEC Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu, the AASC team joined our counterparts to celebrate the beginning of their new chapter. Lisa Barker from AASC highlighted the strong relationship the two centres have built over the last year, with capacity building trips between the two centres.

The team also attended the Blockchain Pasifik Forum. The forum showcased to PNG the importance of the digital economy in the context of Blockchain. Colleagues from the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub presented on blockchain and the law as well as blockchain’s relevance to emerging economies.

The team will return to PNG in November to attend the APEC Summit.