By MALUM NALU
22th May 2017
BORROWING is needed to boost economic growth, and the country has the ability to repay all the loans it takes out, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
He told heads of Government departments during their meeting at the coastal village of Keapara in Rigo, Central, on Friday that the economy continued to grow.
“Because our GDP has grown, our ability to repay those loans has also grown. That is why we are able to borrow a little bit more money to build infrastructure,” he said.
“Borrowing is not a curse. It is our ability to manage that borrowing, making sure that we invest in the right sector.
“Infrastructure is nation-building.
“It is the right sector to invest.
“It builds the economy of the nation.
“That is why we must continue to invest in it.”
He said the Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank lent money to PNG at concessional rates such as two per cent because they had “confidence in our economy”.
“Every country each year had a limit on how much they can borrow from these institutions,” O’Neill said.
“PNG’s limit is always being upgraded every year.
“That’s because they do an independent assessment of our economy, and they have confidence in our economy.”
He said the debt-to-gross domestic product level had decreased from 70 per cent in 2000 to about 35 per cent currently.