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The raging debate on the real cost of APEC can be somewhat laid to rest after the Papua New Guinea treasurer revealed the total accumulated cost figures of the major global event at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Press Club event held on Monday night.
Asked by the journalists in attendance, the Treasurer Charles Abel broke up the costs since 2016 to an accumulated K715 million (US$219 million), tying in the costs of APEC Haus as well which was built under the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme that forgoes real taxes for the developer to the State.
He said that while those were the direct allocations by government, the additional costs have been assistance from other countries assisting with other essentials, logistics, and security arrangements will have added the event to drive it up to an overall cost of could push it up to the vicinity of K900 million to K1 billion (US$276 million – US$307 million) factoring those cost in.
“We were given the green light to host APEC around October 2016 and in 2016 we budgeted K45 million (US$13.7 million) towards APEC, in 2017 we then budgeted K250 million (US$76.6 million) for APEC, 2018 K300 million (US$30.6 million) towards APEC, then of course we had the tax credit facility accessed through Oil Search to build APEC house at K120 million (US$36 million).
“When you add all those up it is something in the vicinity of K720 million (US$221 million), if you add on another K100 million for other costs comes in terms of direct assistance because our friends have helped us a lot- you are looking at K900 to K1 billion.
“In the order of US$300 million which is quiet cheap compared to what it has cost other countries to host APEC,” the Treasurer said.
He said while it may look expensive accumulated, the overall expenditure was over a three year period.
“I am not saying US$300 million is not a lot of money, it is a lot of money, but we have spent that money over three years.
“It cost China US$6 billion to host APEC, it cost the Philippines US$250 million to host APEC,” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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