Papua New Guinea’s authorities is underneath scrutiny for importing 40 luxurious Maserati vehicles from Italy for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (Apec) summit.
The Quattroporte sedans, which price greater than $100,000 every (£75,000), shall be utilized by international leaders.
Media and activists have questioned if the poor Pacific nation has wasted tens of millions.
However the authorities says the personal sector has “dedicated” to paying.
Apec Minister Justin Tkatchenko mentioned the vehicles would “present the extent of carriage for leaders that’s the usual for automobiles used at Apec summits”.
Footage of the vehicles arriving at Port Moresby airport on chartered cargo planes had been shared on social media and sparked concern that taxpayer cash was being wasted on the lavish buy.
Mr Tkatchenko instructed The Australian newspaper that some cash had been paid by the federal government as “a deposit to get the whole lot right here” however that the vehicles had been “promoting like hotcakes” and wouldn’t find yourself as a authorities burden.
He has not revealed how a lot the federal government has already spent on the vehicles nor who could be shopping for them and at what price.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has additionally insisted that the federal government “is not going to be out of any funds”.
Chinese language President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence are each anticipated to attend the high-profile regional gathering, which takes place subsequent month.
Keith Jackson, a blogger on PNG points, instructed the BBC that the vehicles had been a part of an effort by leaders to mission a picture of “sophistication” forward of the summit, together with prettying up the capital, Port Moresby, with new roads and buildings.
“And this all at a time when infectious illnesses like polio, TB and malaria have re-emerged within the nation, faculty academics are usually not being paid and the majority of its eight million persons are transitioning to poverty,” he mentioned.
Papua New Guinea is among the poorest nations in Apec, with 40% of the inhabitants residing on lower than $1 a day in response to the UN. In June the federal government declared a nationwide public well being emergency after an outbreak of polio.
Australia is predicted to offer greater than $100m to assist it placed on the summit, in response to the Australian Broadcasting Company. This contains deploying troopers in addition to fighter jets to safe airspace.
Current Apec hosts have additionally procured fleets of luxurious automobiles to ferry round leaders. In 2015, BMW sponsored greater than 200 automobiles for the summit hosted by the Philippines and the vehicles had been later bought to the general public.