FOREX a critical issue for PNG businesses

Access to foreign exchange remains the most critical issue faced by businesses in PNG.

This is according to the PNG 100 CEO Survey 2017 carried out by Business Advantage Papua New Guinea.

The survey revealed that 59.5 per cent of CEO’s nominated access to foreign exchange as a major obstacle to businesses in the country.

Other critical issues highlighted include shortage of expertise and skills (28.6 per cent), unreliable telecommunications (28.6 per cent), and security and law and order (24.4 per cent).

The PNG 100 CEO Survey was conducted between late November 2016 and early February 2017 and includes senior executives from a representative sample of Papua New Guinea’s largest companies, across all sectors of the economy.

The report also emphasizes how half of the CEO’s in 2016 survey were optimistic that profits would ‘substantially’ or ‘somewhat’ exceed those of 2015.

However, results from the survey reveals that optimism was overstated with less than five per cent of CEO’s saying profits substantially exceeded expectations, while a quarter experience slightly better profits.

There still remains some optimism overall with 67.5 per cent of CEO’s believing that profits will rise, while 15 per cent believe profits will rise substantially.

Meanwhile, 31 per cent of survey respondents expect to make a substantial increase in investment this year with an equally similar percentage to make a slight increase in investment.

About 45.2 per cent of respondents expect staffing levels to remain unchanged while 28.57 per cent expect a substantial reduction. About 9.52 per cent expect a substantial increase.

The 2017 PNG 100 CEO Survey is the sixth exclusive survey of the chief executives who run PNG’s largest companies.

The survey aims to reveal levels of business confidence through anticipated profit levels and expectations for investment and recruitment, and identify the key issues that they face.

Cedric Patjole