Australia-PNG Business Council
16th May 2017
PRIME MINISTER Peter O’Neill during his address at opening of the Australian-PNG Business Council in Port Moresby said it was important PNG and Australia continued its long-standing relationship, especially the bilateral trade relations between them.
He said in the past few years both countries faced challenging times whilst working to manage the impacts of the current downturn in the global economy described his government in making tough decisions to address the issue.
“We identified ways and deferred non-priority items. We also reformed many practises, both in government and SOE to manage our economy during the course of the global economic downturn,” He said.
Despite the current economic situation faced by Papua New Guinea, the national government continued its commitment through the delivery of essential government services and also the completion of vital national projects nationwide.
“The theme of this forum ‘navigating the cycle and creating opportunities in challenging times’ is relevant for both countries. But in Papua New Guinea, the lessons of the recent drop in commodity price should deliver some tough lessons for us to learn from.”
Mr O’Neill compared PNG’s economy to many parts in Australia that have always been held at ransom by the ‘boom and bust cycle’ in the resource sector.
Despite the unfriendly economic climate, the national government was on task in helping to reshape the economy whilst broadening its economic base.
He said we needed to manage our economy and move away from the ‘boom and bust cycle’ since we could not afford to rely on the resource sector forever.
“At the height of the boom energy prices, our government received revenue over K2 billion per annum. However at the bust in energy prices our revenue declined to a mere K200 million per annum,” Mr O’Neill said.