PNG can learn from NZ: Maru

A key focus for the current government to take forward into the medium term is to grow the economy and critical industries.

This means looking to accelerate the poultry industry, tourism, creating employment opportunities and trade and investment prospects.

Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, said taking experiences and learning from countries that have vibrant economies riding on key industries and sectors such as these is critical.

One such country is New Zealand.

“Its main export earnings come from wool, dairy products, tourism and wine making which are significant parts of their economy.”

Minister Maru announced yesterday (April 28) that a Government delegation will be travelling to New Zealand from 30 April to 4 May comprising of key ministers and qualified personnel from both the public and private sectors.

Whilst PNG already has existing bilateral relations with New Zealand, there is potential to expand this relationship and look in-depth on the comparative strengths of New Zealand that PNG aspires to.

Minister Maru said New Zealand is a country that PNG can learn from in its efforts to take development to another level, in light of common resources we share and the potential that PNG has but not explored enough.

“With half the size of PNG’s population, half the size of PNG’s landmass and an economy that solely relies on the non-extractive industry, New Zealand continues to demonstrate strong broad-based economic growth, with the well-being of New Zealanders at a high on almost all dimensions,” stated Maru.

“Whilst one size does not fit all, there are strategic teachings that PNG can take on and build up in its own economic growth endeavours.”

He said PNG has an export revenue of about K9.1 billion, while based on 2016 figures, New Zealand has an annual export revenue of US$70.9 billion (approx. K140 billion).

He admits further that it has not been smooth sailing through the last twelve months hence it is vital for this Government to make frank and candid assessments of PNG’s current state of affairs.

Annette Kora