K9bn worth of commitments after APEC: Report

A recent report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated K9 billion worth of commitments made to Papua New Guinea following the hosting of APEC 2018.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational professional services network that focuses on audit and assurance, says at least K9bn worth of signed deals and projects were promised for PNG after November’s international summit.

This is K7 billion more than the estimated expenditure of hosting APEC.

According to the PwC, the commitments made during APEC can help accelerate inclusive growth and create further benefits for PNG, highlighting that most deals signed focused on infrastructure such as roads and electrification, which are essential enablers for economic growth and employment.

In its infographic, the PwC rated infrastructure with the highest amount of investment, followed by defence, education, health, agriculture and disaster resilience.

Seeing as most of the commitments are aimed at infrastructure projects, the professional services firm says we can expect to see the benefits extend over the next decade.

“With proper management and funding, these projects could help drive PNG’s economic growth and reduce the boom and bust cycle we have traditionally seen in the country.”

PwC has advised that while these projects will be largely funded by multilateral agencies, strong financial discipline and project economics will be required to ensure that these projects are successfully delivered.

The firm has also called for a balanced approach to public-private partnerships to ensure that private business are not crowded out and discouraged from making investments in PNG.

And while these commitments can transform PNG, the firms says the benefits are unlikely to be realised without an environment that is conducive to local and foreign investment alike.

Priorities should include improving digital infrastructure, building the skills of our future workforce, and creating investment-friendly regulations that support entrepreneurial spirit and competition.

(A new multi-country initiative being announced on November 18th, 2018)

Press release