Record export growth explored in new report on PNG

A new report just produced by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) charts the positive impact that stabilised commodity prices and reforms aimed at boosting growth are having on Papua New Guinea’s economic prospects.

The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017 examines the country’s balance of trade, which is at a record high, buoyed by rising levels of exports and a reduction in imports. It shines a spotlight on Papua New Guinea’s important mining sector, which remains a major source of export revenues, thanks to the country’s abundant and diverse range of minerals. OBG also considers the challenges that the industry faces, such as rising operating costs and infrastructural shortfalls, and efforts to address them.

Papua New Guinea’s bid to expand the non-mineral side of the economy is another key focus. OBG’s report assesses the country’s achievements in attracting investment for its industrial parks, led by a recent, $4bn capital injection from Chinese stakeholders. There is also coverage of the government’s plans to strengthen the country’s smaller-scale businesses, particularly in segments earmarked for growth, such as agriculture and fisheries.

In addition, The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017 maps out the country’s sizeable project pipeline, which includes a raft of transport and utility initiatives that are now expected to be rolled out under the public-private-partnership model, following initial delays.

OBG’s report contains an interview with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also features a wide range of contributions from other high-profile personalities, including: Dairi Vele, secretary of the Treasury; Shamshad Akhtar, executive secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; Clarence M Hoot, managing director, Investment Promotion Authority (IPA); and Kostas Constantinou, chairman of Lamana Group of Companies.

Commenting after the launch, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief, Oliver Cornock, said there was every reason to think that Papua New Guinea could maintain and even improve its trading levels, given the current favourable conditions and the country’s natural resource wealth.

“Aside from an upward levelling of commodity prices, Papua New Guinea’s export industries are benefiting from a lack of US dollars and a weak kina,” he said. “With a strong extractive sector, a robust project pipeline and an expanding industrial base combining to drive growth, the government has solid foundations on which to build its long-term, post-election plans.”

OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia-Pacific, Patrick Cooke, added that the country’s role as host of the 2018 APEC summit was expected to provide Port Moresby with a further boost, helping to raise its profile on the regional stage and also significantly increase room capacity.

“Our report highlights the progress Papua New Guinea has made when it comes to implementing reforms aimed at accelerating GDP growth and balancing the books,” he said. “Next year’s summit will give the government a timely opportunity to share these and other achievements with investors, alongside the new openings that are now emerging across this fast-evolving economy.”

The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the economy, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others. The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017 is available in print and online.

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