Prime Minister Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea will be next year’s APEC chair. As Leader of the incoming host, the Prime Minister was invited to join a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam, to talk about the forum’s future and today’s issues from his economy’s unique perspective.

1. On APEC Papua New Guinea

“Our aim is to tell everyone that—apart from the 21 economies in APEC—there are bigger communities out there, who are still a part of our global community and global trading system. And in the Pacific we’ve got another 16 smaller countries in the region. There are real challenges out there, issues like climate change and lack of infrastructure that is not helping them lift their standards of living or grow their economies. Those are things that we would like to highlight.

“And of course, we would make it very relaxing—the Pacific way of doing things: we are a little bit laid back, but I can assure you that it will be an exciting APEC in 2018.”

2. On Globalization

“Many fear globalization because of the insecurities—fear of losing jobs, fear of competition, fear of losing business opportunities and so forth. But large investments by multinationals and global companies into any economy create more opportunities, particularly employment opportunities, for small to medium enterprises. Those are the sort of benefits that we need to communicate with our people.”

3. On Foreign Investment

Of course such investments continue to change the economic well-being of the country, and the professional and employment benefits that are going into small to medium enterprises. So generally emerging economies like Papua New Guinea welcome global companies to invest.”

4. On Technological Leapfrogging

For us, an emerging economy like Papua New Guinea, it is a unique situation where we’re coming out of a very traditional society into a modern economy in a space of one generation, which gives us great challenges. Our aim is basically trying to build the technology infrastructure that will give them the opportunity to participate in the global market.

5. On Change

“We cannot stand on the side and allow our countries to be left behind, we the need the opportunity to play an active role in the changes that are taking place.”

6.  On Inclusive Growth

“We must not leave people behind. That is the fear that globalization brings to many communities, and people around the world. And APEC needs to build a bridge in ensuring that people wind up from poverty into middle class, have security in their families and their lives.”

7. On the diversity in APEC

“As APEC leaders I think we need to continue to help maintain that dialogue between our countries. It is an interesting group. You see, some of the economies are well developed and some are still emerging. So you have a range of issues. Some may not be relevant to the developed economies, but it plays a key role in lifting the population that we have in the region.”

8. On Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Any agreement that the 11 countries are going to agree to is going to benefit the whole region. And of course, at some stage, I hope that we will join that partnership. Because … it is good for the region, it is good for trade, and it gives an opportunity for us to lift many families out of poverty as a result of it.”

9. On Cooperation

It’s quite a difficult situation for when you’re trying to manage domestic politics and domestic issues. But we all live in a global community and it’s changing very fast, and no country can do it alone.”