By HELEN TARAWA
PAPUA New Guinea is the “last paradise on Earth”, and “one of the best countries in the world”, according to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Responding to recent overseas media reports which rated PNG as one of the poorest Apec economies, he said everyone was “entitled to their views, they can say whatever they want”.
“We are rich in culture, rich in history, thousands of years of history, diverse in population and diverse in ethnic grouping, one of the best countries in the world and the last paradise on Earth,” he said
“If they don’t want to come (to PNG), well it’s their bad luck. If they want to come and visit us, we welcome them with open hearts.”
The business end of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week begins tomorrow with the Chief Executive Officers’ Summit held on board the cruise liner Pacific Explorer, followed by the Leaders’ Summit on Sunday at Apec Haus.
O’Neill yesterday inspected facilities including the Hilton Hotel, ‘nternational media centre and APEC Haus.
He told overseas journalists to enjoy the country while they can.
“Relax, move freely and enjoy our lovely country and our people,” he said.
O’Neill also urged them to be fair in their reporting on PNG as it hosts its first Apec Leaders’ Summit.
On security arrangements, O’Neill said PNG was trying to ensure visitors were accommodated in a “distinguished manner” and with the respect they deserved.
“We are proud in making sure that our facilities and logistics are all set for that. Everything is all set and security is okay,” he said.
“We are happy to have you here that are the benefit we get.
“We love visitors coming to visit us and certainly we look forward to doing business with our Apec member countries.”