PM Marape announces record K10 billion in foreign exchange

by PNG Business News - March 28, 2022

Photo: PM Marape announcing the good news in Parliament recently. Picture courtesy of PARLIAMENT MEDIA

In the midst of the worldwide crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, James Marape claims that the Bank of PNG has the largest amounts of foreign exchange ever, totaling more than K10 billion.

This is in sharp contrast to the O'Neill era, when foreign exchange reserves were dangerously low and importers had to wait extended periods of time for US dollars.

PM Marape announced the good news in Parliament, in response to a query from NCD Governor, Hon. Powes Parkop was asked if PNG had enough currency for petroleum importers, notably Puma Energy, which operates the Napanapa Refinery.

“At this point in time, Bank of PNG has more foreign reserves than it has every had, more so for the last 10 years,” he said.

“Today, we have got K10 billion-plus, or about US$3 billion  sitting in our foreign reserves.

“This means that important customers like Puma, and others who need forex, should have easy access now to US dollars for their purchases.”

If Puma is having trouble accessing foreign funds to bring in gasoline, PM Marape says they should meet Treasurer Hon. To help, Ian Ling-Stuckey or himself.

“This is so that in these tough times, we don’t have queues (for forex), or shortage of fuel in our country,” he said.

PM Marape responded to a query about whether Napanapa could get oil from Kutubu in the Southern Highlands by saying that Kutubu had set contracts but could also meet domestic market commitments.

“As you know, Kutubu Crude has export contracts to it, but this is something that we are looking at going forward into the future,” he said.

“That is why this Government has already been aggressive in the domestic market obligation side of gas, so that we move into the space of downstream.

“Downstream processing is something that we have overlooked in our country for many, many years, but we are now moving to get more from our oil and gas so that we Move into downstream processing.

“This is so that in the future we are not so dependent on imported items like fuel, we are not dependent on external market forces, where a price rise means rise in prices in our domestic economy.”

 

Reference: PM James Marape News Page (23 March 2022). “PM Marape announces record K10 billion in foreign exchange”.


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