Friday, 26 May 2017

APEC is a ploy for Australia to have dominance over smaller developing countries - NEOLIBERAL GLOBALIZATION


OVER the next 5 days, I will share short posts, views, attained through formal and self study, about APEC. My objective is to get as many of my fellow country men and women as possible to understand aspects of APEC that may be detrimental to PNG, to see what I see.

Firstly, APEC is an Australian idea that was sold and accepted by the Asia Pacific region countries. While it promotes itself as an organisation that provides a forum that seeks to address common regional issues through regional integration, at its heart, its sole purpose, is to push 'neoliberalism.' 

Neoliberalism is basically a political and economic ideology embraced by industrialized countries, a movement, to open up markets for commercial purposes with less government involvement as possible. It pushes for free trade with the intention of giving well established multinational companies the opportunity to sell more of the products. Developing nations like PNG, non industrialized countries.

While many see benefits for free trade, the fact many don't know is governments have very little regulatory ability on the power of companies once free trade is accepted. We will become slaves of established industrialised nations as trade policies and agreements will favor those with a comparative advantage - those who can produce more at the lowest possible price. 

PNG will never be encouraged to manufacture products and sell. Rather, organisations like APEC will talk to us about strengthening basic services, poverty reduction, sustainable growth, just so that we can remain a good market for the developed nations and a provider of raw materials. A goal of APEC is to see developing nations accept and allow free trade by 2020 - that's 3 years away.

APEC is a ploy for Australia and other developed nations in the region to have dominion over smaller, developing nations.

Suggested way forward for PNG?
We must refrain from becoming too friendly with APEC. We must strive to ensure trade is always advantages to us. Becoming an integral part of APEC means our government sells our right to decide trade on our terms. It means we must now bow down to terms and conditions of APEC. It basically makes us a slave to developed nations, to multinational companies. Fiji denied regional economic powers and their schemes and its surviving, remains sovereign, not a slave.

I just hope our leaders don't see the staging of APEC in PNG as an opportunity to sell more of ourselves as a strategy to dig ourselves out of debt.

Additional notes:
PNG Trade Minister Richard Maru once said there are a lot agreements and bilateral marriages on trade that PNG had with souch groups that needs to be revisited and seriously consider how PNG will benefit from such. Mr. Maru said at the moment, some of these agreements are not in favour of PNG trade.

He cited an example when PACER Plus and withdraw PNG participation saying, "I know the Australian Government has been actively pushing the PACER Plus policy within the region," Mr Maru said.

"I've made it clear that PNG is not interested and that I have directed all my officers not to entertain any negotiations," Minister Maru added.

In another twist Opposition Leader Don Polye was bluntly telling PNG and the International Community that the Government should cancel the APEC because it cannot afford to host it. It estimates it will cost AUD $240 million (PGK 568.78 million).

Polye said it was wise to cancel hosting the event in light of the cash flow problem the country is experiencing.

"The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his government should swallow their pride and cancel hosting it," Mr Poyle said in a news statement to ABC Australia.

"Our economy is in a crisis. Hosting it will only worsen the current cash-flow stricken economy as its costs will not be at 600 million Kina as announced but will run into billions of Kina." the Opposition Leader said.

The concept of APEC through the eyes of Charles Kaprangi is also shared by Richard Maru when he outrightly rejected PACER Plus agreement. Maru just did not reject the PACER Plus on the surface of the things as one would see but he also rejected the offer of jointly funded AU$7.7 million (PGK118.25 million) by New Zealand and Australia under the agreement. 
    Again PACER Plus is being pushed by Australia and kept on pushing to get PNG and Fiji into it whom currently refused to join. 
 On the same sentiments shared by both Kaprangi and Maru - PACER Plus and APEC are the same - it's like there are many ways to skin a cat. (Australia pushing stronger for regional dominance).  

PNG-Fiji trade impasse was a good case in point PNG must consider to deal with New Zealand or Australia or other trade partners in the region and the world over. 
In the dialogue between PNG and Fiji on trade, Maru insisted for greater benefits for PNG especially exports knowing that PNG offered a great opportunity and market for Fijian products.  

Articles on PNG-Fiji Trade impasse below:

  • CHARLES KAPRANGI is a technical advisor, Governance & Board at National Department of Health (PNG). The Department of Health is major player in the APEC Health Working Group; the APEC initiatives on Healthy Women, Healthy economy, and the other initiatives. His comments are personal and does not represent the Department he works for.
Source: Facebook (Paitim Garamut).


  1. Warren Millington Roses26 May 2017 at 23:00

    Strong leaders would not allow themselves to be manipulated only those which are corrupt will jump on the bandwagon and milk it for all its worth. PNG needs strong leaders who think of the country first and not what they achieve for themselves. You can't close off your economies, just see whats happened in North Korea.

  2. That is correct. And that is what I believe a practical example of reading between the lines. We have been exploited. And we need leaders who are well determined and firm defender of our right of self-rule and sovereignty. To get the best value from our raw materials and natural resources which those industrialised or developed countries are very hungry for. Business as usual. Profit oriented.

  3. Phil Senginawa27 May 2017 at 03:02

    I don't want to debate with people who are just peddling other people's opinion and perspectives that are merely propagated by protectionist views. People without a lucid appreciation of the greater APEC process. We are in a globalised world and the world is moving on collaboration and cooperative initiatives. Being used to exploit smaller economies is a false assumption. APEC was a platform promoted to foster greater economic cooperation and trade facilitation because WTO was too protectionist and countries cannot promote their intraregional trade because of too many rules associated with it. Engagement with APEC is an investment with long term multiple benefits. Consider two of APEC's member economies, Vietnam and Peru who had in the past 24 years hosted APEC twice and since then their economies had grown twice at an impressive rate transforming their countries to a middle income economy. Peru and Vietnam 15 years ago had developing economies similar to Papua New Guinea and since hosting APEC twice they had promoted their development agendas and establishing trading partners with larger economies to further develop potential markets and appropriate technologies to boost their trade and investment. I think it's basically about putting your agendas forward on what is very critical in driving and propelling your economy forward. APEC is not just about trade, it is about Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration (RECI). Its about promoting FDI into developing countries, technology transfers and capacity building and strengthening of institutions and governance structures in developing countries that are very much needed to improve the economy which in turn elevate the livelihoods of the people. Well there are two sides to a coin and opponents like proponents will always find avenues to criticize without providing a balanced view.

  4. It is so obvious that every aid that Australia gives has boomerang effect. It goes back to them one way or the other. And if Australia is the leader in APEC. Then we must be sceptical as a democratic nation. Why has it taken too long for us PNG to have realised and protect our sovereignty against manipulation and bullying tactics of the industrialised world. So much overseas loan after 42 years of independence and when is it going to end.

  5. APEC has its share of benefits in terms of capacity building through education, technology transfers, etc but not with trade and investment. PNG must be cautious with APEC in terms of trade and investments. APEC has two of the world's most superpowers, China and USA plus other developed nations like Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand. None of these countries,especially the two superpowers would want to settle in for the lowest common denominator when it comes to trade and investments deals. This s s one major reason why Trump scrapped off the NAFTA and TPP deals and opted for bilateral trade deals. PNG needs to re strategize on its trade deals for bilateral trade to give it more leverage in negotiations.

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