Govt Reaches Revenue Targets, Says Treasurer
by PNG Business News - April 25, 2022
Photo credit: Loop PNG - Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey claims that budget repair enabled the government to reach its income and finance objectives while also keeping spending under control in last year's budget.
In presenting the Final Budget Outcome (FBO) for 2021, Ling-Stuckey said that the budget deficit was preserved at K6.3 billion, down from the K6.6 billion predicted and that spending was increased by K20 billion owing to more outstanding donor funds.
Higher tax collections and donor funds provided K13.9 billion in income.
“As a share of our GDP (gross domestic product), the deficit drops from 8.9 per cent of GDP in 2020 down to 6.7 per cent in 2021. A reduction of over K1bil from the K7bil in 2020,” Ling-Stuckey said.
“By international standards, this is an extraordinary turnaround in just one year – an improvement of 2.2 percentage points of GDP, more than double what would be regarded internationally as a reasonable rate of repair.
“Budget repair and reconstruction build international credibility.”
The government got K4.9 billion in solid, low-cost overseas funding, according to the Treasurer.
“Our constructive, open and transparent international engagements also led to a major increase in international grant support.
“We budgeted for K1bil in international grant support in 2021 and received K2.1bil, more than double. An extra K1 billion in grant support.”.
Reference: The National (22 April 2022). “Govt met revenue targets: Treasurer”.
PNG Business News - February 09, 2021
Kina Drops By 2.9 Per cent Against the US Dollar
According to the Bank South Pacific (BSP) chief executive officer Robin Fleming, the kina depreciated by 2.9 per cent against the US dollar in 2020.“During the course of 2020, the Kina depreciated by 2.9 per cent against the USD, therefore, the cost of goods increase associated with the exchange rate for USD denominated imports would have been around 2.9 per cent,” he said. “For Australian dollar imports, this may have been somewhat higher as the Australian dollar appreciated by 16 per cent against the Kina from last June, predominantly due to movements in the USD and AUD cross rates. In respect to inflation, the most recent publication from the Bank of PNG (BPNG) released in January was that its September 2020 monthly economic review suggests overall inflation is still low.He added, “BPNG’s September 2020 monetary policy has inflation around 3.3 per cent and the Department of Treasury 2021 budget papers indicated inflation for 2020 around four per cent. The BPNG Sept 2020 monthly economic review showed that inflation annual headline retail price index (RPI) to Sept 2020 increased by 0.5 per cent.”This was driven by price increases in alcoholic beverages, among others. According to the BPNG statement, the annual headline inflation decreased from 4.8 per cent in December 2018 to 3.1 per cent in March 2020. This was due to stable or low-income prices in seasonal produce, low imported inflation and high competition. BPNG Governor Loi Bakani said that the import of costs was below 25 per cent.
PNG Business News - February 04, 2021
Barker Says Forex is Very Tight
According to Institute of National Affairs (INA) executive director Paul Barker, foreign exchange (forex) has stayed very tight since 2017, considered to be one of the major hindrances to investments and businesses in PNG. He added that his concern was the imbalance in the markets, partly linked with rigidities in the setting of exchange rates, and the unusual scene of a strong positive current account balance where a section of exports get remitted to PNG. “While servicing major commercial overseas debt prevails, it combines increasingly with the need for servicing the growing foreign public debt,” Barker said. “The foreign exchange that has been available has effectively been rationed, with priority expenditure taking precedence, including fuel, food and debt servicing, while remitting dividends overseas has largely been on hold for several years.”On “certain privileged persons able to secure precedence, Barker said he won’t comment further on that.He said that most businesses need foreign exchange for different reasons.“Even exporters needed to pay for replacement plant and equipment, sometimes for technical inputs,” he said. “And undue constraint can also handicap their capacity to produce and export. It becomes a vicious circle.”Although the situation was improving in 2018 and 2019, Barker said, “But 2020 saw the collapse in prices of several major export commodities. This included liquefied natural gas/oil, copper and vegetable oil at the start of the year. It was associated with the severe fall in demand linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and was not balanced by the strengthened gold prices, particularly following the closure of the country’s second-largest gold mine, Porgera.”
PNG Business News - February 15, 2021
Foreign Exchange Liquidity Is Expected To Rise In 2021
The foreign exchange liquidity in the country is predicted to increase this year. According to the Bank South Pacific, this could happen although the first quarter may be tight. In the BSP Economic and Market Insight December 2020 quarter publication, group general manager treasury Rohan George said that the foreign exchange inflows were expected to decrease by 13 per cent with the support of the Bank of PNG (forex) intervention and 20 per cent without its forex support, from levels enjoyed in the last quarter of 2020. He predicted that these were all because of the effect of the fire at Ok Tedi, the Porgera mine shutdown, Government businesses and State-owned entities strong end-of-year inflows “are likely to be partially offset by increased forex intervention by the Bank of PNG”.“The Kina is likely to continue its gradual fall against the US Dollar (10bps/month), while persistent Australian dollar strength will see larger falls in the Kina against the Australian dollar cross-rate,” he said.The high import demand is also on downward pressure on the Kina exchange rate against the US dollar. “A look ahead into 2021 is promising,” he said. “For instance, Japan has committed to a K1 billion low-interest loan to help finance PNG’s budget deficit. Further, the Government has provided assurances regarding multi-billion Kina resource projects like the Wafi-Golpu, Papua LNG, Pasca offshore, and the re-opening of the Porgera mine. A successful conclusion of negotiations will provide foreign exchange relief.”
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Get over it... with PNG Forest Products' NiuBridge
Photo: NiuBridge on the Boluminski Hwy, New Ireland, PNG You know how they say, “Build a bridge… and get over it”? Well with PNGFP NiuBridge you don’t have to build it, because it’s already built! These expertly designed and engineered modular bridges are prefabricated to your specifications by PNG Forest Products. With a design life of 50+ years and installed cost base typically under half that of equivalent concrete or steel, NiuBridge is the ideal, most cost-effective solution for bridging installations in Papua New Guinea. The NiuBridge System includes deck, girders, kerbing and accessories, and comes with a pre-applied bitumen surface. Little maintenance is required thanks to PNGFP’s unique veneer preservation treatment, ensuring complete protection from termites and rotting. NiuBridge is manufactured from PNG plantation pine to both AS/NZS 2269 and AS/NZS 1604 standards and exploits the advantages of natural timber, which is not subject to fatigue failure, unlike other materials such as steel and concrete. Available in single lane, dual lane, or custom design, NiuBridge is suitable for a range of load conditions including Austroads T44 and AS 500 Bridge Design. NiuBridge and sister product NiuDeck are widely used by local and state governments across Australia. The peak body for the timber industry in Queensland has welcomed these products as a demonstration of the versatility and innovation of using Engineered Wood Products in bridge construction. “Using prefabricated timber systems in bridges is gaining greater market recognition due to their inherent strength, light weight and low carbon emissions footprint compared to other construction materials”, said the CEO of Timber Queensland, Mick Stephens. So next time you need to get over it, don’t waste valuable time and loads of money building a bridge. Buy a NiuBridge and get over it sooner and more cost effectively!
PNG Business News - May 16, 2022
Need help with to live, work and study in Australia and with student enrolments in EQI accredited schools? Ask Migration Plus!
Photo credit: Migration Plus Migration Plus is a leading Migration firm in Cairns, in the Far North Queensland region providing professional migration advice to students, individuals, government, businesses and corporate groups including the mining, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and air services industries. Migration Plus are also Education Agents with Qualified Education Counsellors on their team and they represent a number of reputable universities and colleges across Australia, including Education Queensland International (EQI) for student enrolments. They work closely with EQI and have successfully assisted PNG students enrol in schools across Queensland and also assisted with visa applications for the students for many years. With Australian borders opening to international visitors, temporary workers and international students, they can assist you with all migration matters for your business and family to visit, work or study in Australia. Now is the time to start your children’s enrolment to study in any of the EQI’s accredited schools from Prep to Year 12. Education Counsellors at Migration Plus can assist your children’s enrolment for Year 10, Semester 2, the important pathway into senior high school subjects through the Senior Education and Training Plan. Semester 2 commences in July 2022. With an in-depth knowledge of migration law, their specialist team provides a complete solution to your migration requirements and coordinate all facets of your migration needs. The Migration Plus team is very passionate about what they we do – the rewards of being able to assist in changing lives and helping clients achieve their goals is first and foremost. With over 90 years of combined experience available to you, you can count on their highly specialised team for accurate advice. Contact the Specialist team for further information.
Marcelle P. Villegas - May 16, 2022
Australia Opens Its Doors to International Students
Photo credit: Education Queensland International “International students are an important part of the Australian community, and we are excited to welcome them back to our classrooms, campuses and communities.” This was the announcement posted on their website by the Australian Government last February to herald the reopening of international travel to students. “Australia’s borders are open to fully vaccinated international students and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders.”  “From 21 February 2022, all visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption to enter Australia.”  The Australian Government said that international students will be subject to Australian Government border restrictions and any State and Territory quarantine and testing requirements. Quarantine and testing arrangements for State and Territories are frequently changing. Therefore, international students are advised to visit www.Australia.gov.au/states to be updated with the latest information and announcements of the Australian Government. In relation to this, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a “factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students” which is available for downloading from the website.  “All visa holders who are fully vaccinated in accordance with Australia’s international border entry requirements are able to arrive in Australia without needing an approved travel exemption. This includes fully vaccinated international students.”  Here are more important reminders from the Australian Government: People who do not meet Australia’s vaccination requirements for international travel must apply for a travel exemption to travel to Australia, unless they are in an exempt category. Visa holders who arrive in Australia may have their visa cancelled and be detained and removed if they: are not fully vaccinated for international travel purposes in accordance with Australia’s border entry requirements; or do not have a medical contraindication to a COVID-19 vaccine as defined by the Australian Government; or are not in an exempt category or hold an individual travel exemption. To be considered as “fully vaccinated for international travel purpose” to or from Australia, one should have completed a primary course of a vaccine approved or recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes mixed doses. The currently approved or recognised vaccines for travel are the following: Two doses at least 14 days apart of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca Covishield, Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, Moderna Spikevax or Takeda, Sinovac Coronavac, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people under 60 years of age on arrival in Australia), Gamaleya Research Institute Sputnik V, Novavax/Biocelect Nuvaxovid. Single-dose dose of Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine are also in the list of approved and recognized vaccines. “At least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.” How about exceptions for vaccination requirements and arrangement for children? “People with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and children under 12, can access the same travel arrangement as people who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes.” Moreover, temporary visa holders who are younger than 18 years old at the time of departure for international travel to Australia do not require an approved travel exemption when the child is travelling with at least one adult who is fully vaccinated for international travel purposes. “Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia may be exempt from passenger caps and eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. Travellers should always check the quarantine requirements for the state or territory they plan to travel to, or transit through, prior to arranging their travel.” “If the child is travelling with unvaccinated adult family members, then the entire family group will be subject to managed quarantine and passenger caps.” For more information on vaccination travel requirements, quarantine rules, and other related matter, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers. Reference:  https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students  https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers  Factsheet on the reopening of international travel to students https://www.dese.gov.au/reopening-international-travel-students/resources/factsheet-reopening-international-travel-students