PNG seeing ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery: O’Neill

Papua New Guinea is seeing real ‘green shoots’ of recovery from the impact of lower commodity prices, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

He said with a number of major oil, gas and mining projects continuing to progress towards the final approval and construction stages, the country is in a stable economic position.

O’Neill made these remarks after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns on slower global economic growth this year and in 2017.

“The Bank of Papua New Guinea has pointed to private sector growing in the first quarter of 2016, compared with a decline in the December quarter of 2015.

“Business surveys in recent months point to increased confidence in the business sector even though there are areas, such as construction, where conditions remain very challenging.

“This year we will achieve 4 per cent GDP growth which is high by prevailing world standards.

“As the construction phases of our next major gas project, Papua LNG with TOTAL SA, and major mining projects such as Frieda River start in next year, I am confident GDP growth will lift strongly, and we will see a significant boost in employment and activity in the small business sector.

“What the warnings from the IMF make clear is that factors over which we have no control whatsoever are a challenge to world economic growth, and world trade,” he said.

O’Neill added that as a trading nation, especially in LNG, as well as minerals and agricultural products, the country need a growing world economy, and stronger trade in commodities, and higher commodity prices, to maximise the recovery in the domestic economy.

Freddy Mou