PETER O’Neill starts 2018 on a high note with the country’s supreme court removing the threat of court action that has been hovering over his head since 2014. With his arrest warrant for official corruption quashed, the PNG Prime Minister can now concentrate on what is poised to be a crucial year with his hosting in November of APEC that is likely to bring to Port Moresby leaders of this 21-member organisation that will most probably include American President Donald Trump and Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan and Justin Trudeau of Canada.
Economists are attributing the flurry of construction activities in the lead up to the APEC Summit as a key contributing factor in the 2.2 per cent economic growth rate projected for PNG this year. The O’Neill Government is also hoping to see the progress of the controversial Solwara 1 seabed mining project this year. Despite opposition from local community groups who are backed by NGOs in Australia, the Nautilus Mineral owned project seeks to mine gold and copper in the Bismarck Sea, in PNG’s northeast waters.
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