DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE PNG ECONOMY – TREASURER PRUAITCH
PNG Mining Conference News:
Minister for Treasury Hon. Patrick Pruaitch during his speech presentation at the 14th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney said analysts and commentators should not underestimate the increased resilience and diversity of Papua New Guinea’s economy.
Speaking to more than a thousand people attending the conference, Mr Pruaitch said despite a downturn in global prices in oil and gold, there were other export commodities like cocoa, coffee, oil palm, forestry and fisheries, which generated revenue for the country.
According to the World Bank report for 2016, Papua New Guinea’s trade surplus of PGK4,636 million in the first quarter of 2016 from gold, oil, copper, coffee, cocoa, vegetable oils, fish and logging.
Mr Pruaitch made mention about record export earnings from the forestry and fisheries sector that generated K4.4 billion exceeding crude oil exports by K2 billion in 2011.
He said the Agriculture sector alone grew by 8.1 % and in total non-Mining GDP increased by an impressive 13.2% over the past five years with the oil palm sector generating K1.5 billion in export earning alone.
He said the significant downturn in commodity prices 2012 slashed revenues from gold and copper. Crude Oil and LNG prices underwent a sharp fall in December of 2014.
“LNG brought a new dimension to our economy. Between 2010 and 2015 nominal GDP almost doubled from around K24 billion to K47.3 billion,” he said.
Mr Pruaitch said despite the slow down in economic growth at 2% this year and 2.8% projected next year, nominal GDP will exit K57 billion next year and reiterated uncertain economic condition and increased market volatility.
“Fortunately there are signs the global economic environment maybe improving. Commodity pries have risen recently followed by crude oil prices. As interest rates in advance countries normalize I believe global economic conditions will also improve and become more predictable,” he said.
He said regardless of what happened globally Papua New Guinea is well set to capitalize on its development potential.