“The ADB statistics highlight once again the extraordinarily bad economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having around the globe, producing the most challenging economic times in a century. In this global context, the PNG economy is doing so much better than most,” stated the Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“PNG’s forecast real growth rate of 2.5 percent in 2021 is equal highest of the thirteen countries covered by the ADB report, with Tuvalu having a similar estimate. On average, across the 12 other Pacific countries (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, FSM, Kiribati, Palau, Nauru, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Samoa), the country average real growth rate is minus 3.4 percent – so PNG’s 2021 real growth rate of 2.5 percent is expected to be 5.9 percent better.
“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been very severe on the Pacific. Looking backwards to last year, in 2020 the average real growth rate was minus 5.8 percent. PNG was less severely affected, with a minus 2.9 percent estimate.
“Across the rest of the Pacific, there is an expected average economic improvement of 2.4 percent (from minus 5.8 percent to minus 3.4 percent). PNG’s improvement is expected to be more than twice as good as the Pacific average, with a lift of 5.4 percent in growth prospects. This will provide improved opportunities for PNG’s businesses and families that have been doing it tough because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“This information from the ADB, backed by similar estimates from other independent international organisations, lifts my confidence.
“Under the Marape-Basil government, 2021 will be a year where PNG emerges from the global COVID-19 pandemic crisis to a stronger and better economy and budget,” stated Treasurer Ling-Stuckey.