PAPUA New Guinea’s economy remains strong, despite the adverse impact of lower commodity prices, the country’s prime minister has said.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said PNG remained a great country in which to invest and do business.
Addressing delegates at the PNG Business Advantage Summit 2014 in Port Moresby, O’Neill said it was the right time to invest and do business in Papua New Guinea.
“Our economy remains strong, despite a number of adverse impacts including lower mineral prices, which has led to a deferral of some major investments, and the scaling down of some of our existing projects,” he added.
“However, the most significant economic event for this year and arguably since independence is the start of PNG LNG exports.
“This great project will do more than just deliver substantial revenue inflows to the national government, and of course other levels of government and landowners.
“It has already enhanced our international standing as a country where investors can invest with confidence and certainty.
“The multi-national consortium that has delivered this great project ahead of time deserves high praise. So do the many of our landowner groups, contractors, local and provincial governments that have made this possible.”
He said it was a welcome and compelling success story but warned there must be no resting on the achievement.
“The end of the construction phase of the LNG project meant that employment numbers there have declined substantially – and many of them, highly skilled and trained,” O’Neill continued.
“The best way to secure employment for them into the future is for us to encourage small and large enterprises throughout the country, including support for the oil and gas industry, mining projects, and by lifting our own investments in infrastructure and in areas such as roads and housing.
“I want to assure you that our government is doing exactly that so we can maintain stable economic activity in the country and maintain the growth that we have been experiencing.”
O’Neill said the government had increased expenditure in infrastructure spending and had taken steps to ensure stable economic growth and cushion the anticipated decline in employment as a result of the PNG LNG construction phase.
This article is kindly provided by www.pngindustrynews.net.