Policies to improve living standards: Treasurer

As PNG celebrated its 45 years of independence, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey highlighted examples of the policies being put forward by the Marape-Steven government to improve our people’s living standards.

In his Supplementary Budget speech, the Treasurer said he had set out four examples of forward looking policies. They are examples of how they are trying to broaden PNG's economic growth focus away from the resource sector and into the broader economy.

"Following is an extract from my Supplementary Budget speech last Thursday which was under the heading ‘Looking forward’ and provides four specific examples of a new vision for PNG," outlined the Treasurer.

"Mr Speaker, we must look forward with a new vision for PNG. The reality is that the prospects for any quick LNG investment fixes are essentially non-existent. Even LNG projects that were in front of the global development queue with agreed fiscal regimes are being deferred.

"The government must continue with its balanced focus of also growing the non-resource economy – the source of livelihoods for most of our people.

"Mr Speaker, we are taking actions to get broad-based growth going again. Let me provide some examples," said Ling-Stuckey. 

"First, we are working on a major expansion of labour mobility programs. The World Bank had estimated that payments home from labour mobility programs were going to be larger in 2020 than all foreign direct investment into developing countries. I repeat, larger than all foreign investment in mining or manufacturing or forestry. This extraordinary opportunity was messed up by the former government.

"Second, we are pleased with the doors opening for our manufacturing sector. So responsible investors coming in and seeing opportunities such as the agreed $US350 million cement-lime manufacturing plant in Central Province last month.

"Third, international confidence in PNG’s business environment as demonstrated by last fortnight’s agreements with Fortescue to explore the option of exporting our hydro power potential and developing green industrial operations for domestic consumption and export to international markets.

"Fourth, and most importantly, clear support for our agricultural sector and SMEs which were at the centre of our COVID-19 economic support program with funding provided down to the district levels. With massive increases in investment financing for infrastructure, to get goods to markets such as the extra K495 million in concessional project financing in 2019.

"And then, as I said in the conclusion of the speech: The Marape-Steven government has a vision going forward for sustainable broad-based growth. PNG will emerge from this war on COVID-19 stronger than ever before.

“On our 45th Independence Day, let us celebrate the greatness of our nation, wisely learn the lessons of our history, and confidently step forward with a more balanced and sustainable vision for this country.”

(Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey)

Press release