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Papua New Guinea: Maserati fleet for APEC raises questions

Papua New Guinea: Maserati fleet for APEC raises questions

Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest countries in APEC, however, the government has enough funds to import 40 Maseratis to drive international delegates, BBC reported. Such a financial flexibility of Papua New Guineans rose many questions and caused anger among the citizens of a country.

After Papua New Guinea’s government has imported a fleet of 40 Maseratis to welcome APEC conference next month, the local press and social media have exploded with questions. Papua New Guineans didn’t understand such a decision, especially amid a health and poverty crisis, struggling economy, and ongoing efforts after the recent devastating earthquake.

The luxury car Maserati cost between $200,000 and $350,000, these price tags sounds like an open space distance to the citizens of PNG, one of the poorest countries on the planet. According to the UN, 40% of its population living on less than $1 a day.

The cars were flown in from Milan on two Boeing 747-8F charter planes this week, and according to the minister for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko, their costs definitely will be covered by “the private sector”. In fact, importing the luxury cars just for one conference looks strange, taking into account that Papua New Guinea’s Cabinet declared a national public health emergency after June outbreak of polio.

APEC conferences expenses are rising year to year

Recent APEC hosts have also procured fleets of luxury vehicles to ferry around leaders. In 2015, BMW sponsored more than 200 vehicles for the summit hosted by the Philippines and the cars were later sold to the public.

This year, Australia is expected to provide more than $100m to help it put on the summit, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This includes deploying soldiers as well as fighter jets to secure airspace.