PNG's O'Neill defends APEC car deal

8:10 am on 12 November 2018

Papua New Guinea's prime minister has defended his government buying 40 Maserati cars for the three-day APEC summit, saying it was the best deal for the nation.

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Photo: 123RF

The government's decision to spend millions importing Maseratis has stirred outrage in PNG, where much of the population lives in poverty.

Peter O'Neill has told parliament no local dealers could supply the same "colour, quality and price of vehicles deserving of APEC leaders."

He said the government only spent $US148,000 per Maserati, and could have instead spent nearly $US300,000 on Mercedes Benz cars used at past APEC summits.

Mr O'Neill said the cars would be sold by public tender after APEC, adding he has "done a deal that is going to benefit PNG."

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