Mr Ling-Stuckey confirmed that during a meeting on Sunday night with the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for Treasury, Robert Kaproth, there was an agreement to send a US Technical Assistance team early next year to discuss possible engagement with Treasury and the Bank of PNG.
The Treasurer outlined in detail the challenges people faced when opening bank accounts and played a video of Governor for East Sepik Allan Bird’s recent Parliamentary question on the problems being faced by 100,000 cocoa farmers in opening bank accounts and the issues with stopping bank cheques, as well as the Prime Minister’s prompt response.
“There was a good discussion on the massive practical problems of the existing arrangements.”
The Treasurer indicated that US Treasury engagement would enhance the credibility to PNG’s banking sector and improve the nation’s international standing.
He said the Marape-Rosso Government was committed to working with the US Treasury to improve the banking sector.
“This is a major step forward in promoting financial inclusion of our rural population. Our people need easier access to banking services.” said the Treasurer.
It is hoped that with the assistance of the US Treasury, there can be improved efficiency of government payments, and a reduction in frustration over payment delays.
Any technical assistance provided by the US Treasury would enable the Central Bank (BPNG) through its Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU) to improve the regulation of PNG’s banking sector whilst also making it more responsive to the needs of the country.
Treasurer Ling-Stuckey also discussed the importance of increased climate change financing.
PNG has 7 percent of the world’s biodiversity.
If PNG’s forests were to be protected to assist with the world’s climate system, it was important to open ways that people can earn incomes other than just having their trees cut down and exported.
There was discussion of options of debt for nature swaps, as well as grant funding options through the Millenium Challenge Corporation.