Nearly K18bn economic growth forecast

PNG’s economy is expected to grow by nearly K18 billion over the next two years.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said this growth is for the people of PNG as the growth forecast will mainly benefit the non-resource economy.

The 2021 budget was passed today with only 49 MPs from the Government bench.

In his budget speech, under the theme ‘consolidation for growth’, Minister for Treasury, Ling-Stuckey, said PNG’s economy is expected to grow by nearly K18 billion over the next two years; from K81 billion to K99 billion.

“It is now expected that our economy will grow by over 10.6 percent in nominal terms in 2021,” he stated. “From K81.6 billion up to K90.3 billion. In 2022, we once again expect nominal growth to over 10 percent, lifting the size of the economy to K99.4 billion and shortly, we will become a K100 billion economy.”

The Treasurer says this is not just Treasury forecast as the International Monetary Fund is also forecasting an K18 billion growth in PNG’s economy.

Ling-Stuckey pointed out that after 18 months of hard work, the economic recovery has commenced, where he described the two-year growth figure as “the largest in our nation’s history”.

“Even when the taps turn on with the PNG LNG project, the economy increased by less than K15 billion,” he told Parliament. “The near K18 billion in growth over the next two years is mainly for the people of Papua New Guinea. Well over half is going into growth in the non-resource sector. So nearly an extra K3 billion in growth for our agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors.”

The Treasurer highlighted an extra K620 million going into our construction sector, nearly K200 million extra in our manufacturing sector, nearly a billion Kina extra in our wholesale and retail trade and another K180 million into our accommodation and food services.

“So let me put these major growth numbers in terms of each person in Papua New Guinea. Mr Speaker, on average, we expect the average person in Papua New Guinea to be K1,000 better off because of the economic policies we have put in place.”

The Treasurer said these growth forecasts do not include any upsides from the expected announcements of progress with new resource activities such as Papua LNG, Wafi-Golpu, P’nyang or activities from other international investors, such as Mayur Resources.

Meantime, Parliament has been adjourned to Tuesday 20th April, 2021.

(Today’s budget sitting with an empty Opposition bench)

Carmella Gware