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30 June 2016


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The notion behind this article is basically to promote connectivity in the region by opening up economic corridors.

I'm guessing you all may know a sub-regional grouping formed in 2002 under the auspices of the ASEAN which comprises of six countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

This is called the Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) where Foreign Ministers of the respective countries meet on the margins of the annual ASEAN meetings to exchange views and discuss issues of mutual concerns in pursuing economic, social and human development in the sub-region.

The Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) initiated in 2002 aims to facilitate the exchange of views between the Foreign Ministers of the Participating Countries, New Zealand, Australia, Timor-Leste, PNG, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The SwPD has five countries that are permanent members of APEC, two permanent members of ASEAN with two Observers to ASEAN and three Members of PIF. This sub-regional bloc is already initiating discussions to pursue connectivity development in the sub-region.

Connectivity Development encompasses three (3) aspects, namely; physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity.

Physical connectivity requires infrastructures that promote economic development and social inclusion such as roads and highways opening up new economic corridors and that will also enable health, education and communication infrastructures to penetrate the once remote areas.

Institutional connectivity will ensure cooperation between respective state agencies to share intelligence and information in addressing issues of common interest.

Thirdly, people-to-people connectivity is about about creating more opportunities for more interaction among the people in the region through education exchange or scholarship programs or cultural and sporting events.

Mr Yala is focusing on the physical connectivity by opening up the island of New Guinea through economic enabling infrastructure that would open up economic corridors for the rural folks.

For your information, Papua New Guinea has made commitment through the Foreign Minister for the country to host the second sub-regional workshop on connectivity development in the sub-region of Southwest Pacific in November 2016 after Indonesia hosted the first in 2014.

The other five member countries of the Dialogue acknowledged the existing connectivity gaps among its participating countries and has agreed that connectivity is an important aspect in linking countries in the Southwest Pacific sub-region.

Recognizing the importance of connectivity, the issue is consistently discussed in the annual Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) meeting since 2011 in which the member countries of SwPD inclusive of Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Timor-Leste have greatly supported it.

The role of Connectivity is critical to achieve a more prosperous and integrated region. Better connectivity will increase access to markets and jobs for individuals, lower trade costs, and create business opportunities for private sectors. It would narrow the development gap, hence promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the region.

A Whole-of-Government approach is taken to have all critical Government Departments, SOE's and Statutory agencies involve in the workshop. Mr Charles Yala is invited to present at the forthcoming workshop.

Conversely, if he has the opportunity to publish, why write about something so airy-fairy and not something important?

Maybe writing stuff that doesn't catch the eye of the government safer.

Bit of a cop-out I think.

I received an email today warning of the re-emergence of the notions surrounding North American Union. (N.A.U.)
The context implicit re the PNG question raised by Mr Yala is that neighboring economies are seen as future merges for global governance and associated purposes.
PNG is proximal to West Papua, genealogically, by sentiment and culture. It is also proximal by N.W.O. measure as evidenced in terms made clear by the proposed N.A.U.
My assertion is that object lessons are emerging all the time, of late, pointing to people groups confronted with change, whether they like it or not.
Should we wonder then that Mr Yala and his peers might well be very scholastically cultured in movements and trends of geo-politics that confront our survey of normal?

"Dear Friend,
Don't sleep on this one!

Ten years ago, I wrote plenty about George Bush' plan to create a North American Union by signing the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Vincente Fox (Mexico) and Stephen Harper (Canada).

Well, Obama is at it again! He has rebranded the 2005-6 effort as the "North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership."

I reposted one of my papers from 2006 and just wrote the update on Obama today.

Toward A North American Union (2006)
NAU Reborn As ‘North American Climate, Clean Energy And Environment Partnership’

Please share these articles far and wide: email, Facebook, Twitter, LInkedin, Snapchat, etc.

Yours for Liberty,

Patrick Wood"

Phil, maybe the answer is that it's far easier and more pleasant to fantasize than to deal with the reality?

A pity as you suggest, that the NRI apparently seems to be encouraging the author to produce papers such as this one papers.

However, maybe we are missing the really important point which is for Mr Yala to be able to publish a paper at all?

It would seem that the Brexit result indicates that people in the UK at least have woken up to the dangers of globalisation and the inequity that it breeds, particularly in the EU context. That's probably what's behind the rise of Donald Trump too.

The elections here seem to be turning into a kind of protest about similar things. In that sense I wouldn't be too optimistic about the inevitability of the expectations that Mr Yala might have based his arguments on.

It's all too well to dream but it does make me wonder why an august body like the National Research Institute wastes time on this sort of pie-in-the-sky speculation when there are more pressing matters in PNG.

On the other hand, in the Technocratic idyll, tomorrows world would see currencies on near to par value, sovereign borders of no particular hindrance, and ethnic distinction,and sectarian politics, a thing of history.

Who's to say Mr Yala's propositions are not founded on just such visionary expectation?

This suggestion may make sense to an economist but not a lot of sense to a political strategist, especially one in Australia or New Zealand.

I would suggest it be put on the back burner on the off chance that Indonesia might one day give Papua some sort of autonomy or, improbably, independence.

In the short term that would at least save the zillions of dollars to build the suggested cities and roads.

That said, a united Melanesia on the one big island is a laudable dream.

The proposal to open up PNG and West Papua as a single entity is very ambitious and unfortunately ignores the practicalities of political sensitivities.

Let's suppose that the previously and artificially set political borders were to be overcome by expediency, or some other influence that is not currently on the horizon. The logic behind any city or port being developed must be based on the essential financial rationale for the infrastructure to be developed and supported, (e.g. mining, timber or rural products being imported or exported).

Long term highways and roads will only be developed and constructed if they can be funded and maintained. Maintenance, especially for roads, as some one pointed out recently on anther website, is a word not easily found in any PNG dictionary.

Given the statements recently made by Sam Basil that there should be a a trans national road connecting Lae and Morseby, the fact that there is not such a road already existing even after 40 odd years of independence is a telling point against Mr Yala's suggestions.

Nevertheless, Mr Yala should be congratulated for raising such important issues. Perhaps in some wildest figment of a suggested tourism attraction, PNG and Indonesia could stage a daily ceremonial road gate closing on the border like that between India and Pakistan at the Wagah gate in North Western State of The Punjab.

Tourists and locals currently flock to see this Sub Continent theatre each day but the origins of this daily performance of mock confrontation is based on there having been two previous wars between India and Pakistan. The performance tries to encourage people on each side of the gate to actively promote their own national pride.

I somehow don't think that would work under the current political arrangements between PNG and Indonesia.

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