BPNG Reveals Monetary Policy Plans for Next Six Months
by PNG Business News - April 20, 2023
The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has announced its monetary policy considerations for the next six months until September of this year. The central bank indicated that it will maintain a neutral stance in line with the country's economic developments and medium-term prospects.
As required by the country's central banking law, BPNG issued two monthly monetary policy statements, including the March 2023 statement presented to the Lae business community. The bank's decision to pursue a neutral stance was based on the projected fall in global growth and inflation this year.
BPNG explained that further tightening could lead to an increase in lending rates, which would negatively impact private sector services and economic activity since lending rates are already high. Therefore, the bank deemed it appropriate to aim for price stability while promoting economic growth.
"We will continue to monitor the ongoing concerns of high inflation and other macroeconomic indicators, and their impact on domestic prices, and growth and employment," BPNG said. "The bank may adjust its stance of policy if required to achieve its objectives and ensure macroeconomic stability."
The global economy is projected to slow down in 2023, with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and tighter financial conditions contributing to the decline. Additionally, international commodity prices are expected to fall due to the global slowdown in activity and growth. However, while global inflation is expected to slow, BPNG expects domestic price pressures to remain elevated in 2023 but moderate in the medium term.
PNG Business News - January 27, 2022
WORK PROGRESSING ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION
Photo credit: PNG PM Media Unit The formation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is advancing, with the ICAC Appointments Committee convening for the second time this year in Port Moresby. Hon. Prime Minister David Cameron James Marape emphasized the urgent necessity for the government to combat the "disease of corruption" in the country, urging the Committee to move the process forward as soon as possible before Parliament reconvenes for the National General Elections this year. The meeting, which was hosted by the Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG) at its WNB Haus office and chaired by the Prime Minister, discussed the Commission's composition, check and balance and administrative mechanisms, reporting structure, and other administrative and legal requirements, including recruitment for its composition. The Undisclosed Wealth Act and the Whistle Blowers Act are two pieces of supporting legislation that will help the Commission operationalize its work once it is up and running, according to Prime Minister Marape. The Committee has agreed to a fairly severe process, the specifics of which will be published when the Commission is ready to begin. These efforts by DJAG come on the heels of a record number of bills sponsored by the department and enacted by Parliament last and this year, helping to improve PNG's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International, according to a recent study. PNG has declined from 142nd rank out of 180 nations to 126th place in the 2021 Corruption Perception Index, according to ICAC Interim Chairman Thomas Eluh. "This is a massive drop in one year, highlighting the positive and strong efforts of the Marape Government in tackling rampant corruption in the country, " said Eluh. "The full operationalisation of ICAC will further improve PNG’s grading on the CPI." Prime Minister Marape urged the Appointment Committee, the ICAC team, the DJAG, and other integrity organizations to work towards lowering PNG's CPI ranking to double digits, noting that the CPI rating for 2021 is highly positive for the Government and the country. He also asked DJAG to use the three years leading up to the country's 50th birthday in 2025 to enhance legislative and administrative systems in time for the Golden Jubilee festivities. Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, ICAC Interim Chairman Thomas Eluh, Attorney-General Dr Eric Kwa, and other senior officials of DJAG attended the meeting. Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (27 January 2022). “Work Progressing On The Establishment Of Independent Commission Against Corruption
PNG Business News - March 09, 2021
INVITATION TO THE 36TH AUSTRALIA PAPUA NEW GUINEA BUSINESS FORUM AND TRADE EXPO
The Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea are pleased to be re-launching the 36th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo, which was deferred from 2020 to 24 to 26 May 2021. For the first time ever, this event will be held concurrently in Brisbane (at the Royal International Convention Centre), Port Moresby (at Hilton Port Moresby Hotel) and also online, with a shared speaking program. The Forum theme for this year is “Reimagining the Future Papua New Guinea”. The theme aims to capture the important message that Australia and Papua New Guinea along with the rest of the world, must move and pivot with the times and circumstances in order to prosper. It also looks to advance discussion about greater diversity in the PNG economy. Coronavirus and all its related restrictions and issues, along with advancements in technology mean that we must, collectively, think of different ways to work in trade, economy and indeed life. Online connectivity appears to be one of the important forms of communication that will continue for the foreseeable future. This Forum is distinctly established as the leading annual bilateral business meeting between Australia and Papua New Guinea, and builds on the work both Councils have done over more than three decades in growing the bilateral business relationship. The program for the Forum includes an overview of the political and economic climate, particularly issues which affect business and investment, and will include specific sessions by expert presenters on topics such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, emerging economic business opportunities in PNG, agribusiness, infrastructure, SME growth, Papua New Guineans in the Australian labour market, and resources. Key government ministers from Australia and Papua New Guinea, and a range of other expert speakers, have been invited to address the Forum to inform business representatives of policy issues in their portfolio relevant to business, and they will be able to join us from whichever location they are in, whether Brisbane, Port Moresby or elsewhere. Delegates will be able to engage in lively interaction with presenters in most sessions either live in person, or via the online platform with a Q&A feature. Video recordings of presentations will become available online soon after they are given so that delegates may go back and revisit portions they may have missed. There is something in the program for just about anyone who has an interest in the bilateral business and economic relationship and in the economy of Papua New Guinea. Delegates will be able to connect via the online platform by sending messages and/or booking appointment times with each other, particularly if they are not attending the Forum at the same venue. The Forum will again feature a Trade Expo for Australian and Papua New Guinean companies wishing to use the opportunity to match their goods and services to clients and purchasers in each country, and to broaden their business relationship. An innovative development this year is that all the trade booths will be online, with a limited number of physical booths at each location (as well as online) due to Covid restrictions. Booth exhibitors will be able to display their corporate logo, upload documents and short videos for visitors, include links to their own website, and chat one-on-one with delegates online, who can request meeting times with them via the online platform. This is a new, exciting and pioneering way to do things, and we will endeavour to have answers for you immediately should you encounter any problems while using the online platform. Register early for this conference as in-person spots at each location are limited and demand will be heavy. To register, complete the online booking process at https://events.apngbc.org.au/event/36APNG/. Please take care to show where/how you wish to participate. There are many new features that we will be introducing during this Forum as we look to resume regular business to business engagement, which has been so disrupted during the last year. This is a very good value conference. Enquiries about registration, Trade Expo bookings and accommodation should be directed to the secretariat of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council, on telephone + 61 7 3348 5142 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Business Council of Papua New Guinea on telephone + 675 323 8465, fax + 675 323 5162 or by e-mail at email@example.com. We look forward to hosting you at the 36th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo on 24-26 May 2021, whether in Brisbane, Port Moresby, or Online.
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
PNG and New Zealand PMs Sign MoU
The prime ministers of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have signed a memorandum of agreement to further their cooperation. The leaders signed a Statement of Partnership in a virtual conference, reinforcing efforts to work through issues of trade and economics, as well as regional solidarity, amid the epidemic. PNG's Prime Minister, James Marape, has suggested that New Zealand and Australia must do more to help Pacific economies cope with Covid-19. "As I have stated to the Japanese Prime Minister at a recent meeting, and again at the recent Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting, we would like to call on these bigger countries to step in and intervene, create 'economic bubble' or put in similar measures to assist these smaller economies. "Many of us are really stuck. Fiji, for example, survives on tourism dollars. For us, Covid19 is not just a health issue; it is also an economic issue as well," Marape explained. Ardern sounded receptive, saying the new Statement of Partnership underlined New Zealand's commitment to tight economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties with Papua New Guinea. "It is an important milestone in our relationship. By formalising the values, priorities and principles which underpin our strengthening partnership, we've set a clear pathway forward for the future engagement between our countries." "We look forward to continuing to work alongside Papua New Guinea on issues facing our Pacific region, including the ongoing management of COVID-19 and the regional economic recovery," Ardern said. The statement said the countries have committed to "a safe and stable Pacific region where Pacific sovereignty is respected, and unhindered access to open waterways and marine resources are preserved, in line with the international rules-based system". Bougainville link The two presidents also spoke about Bougainville, PNG's autonomous province, which had a historic referendum in 2019 in which over 98 per cent of voters opted for independence from PNG. Negotiations between Bougainville's autonomous administration and PNG's national government, as well as wide-ranging discussions, must take place before PNG's parliament can consider whether to accept the outcome. Marape updated Ardern on the current status of the discussions, expressing his thanks for New Zealand's long-term assistance in ending the civil conflict on Bougainville and the ensuing peace process, which the referendum is a part of. "Thank you also for your interventions in the matter of the Bougainville Referendum and under your leadership, we have been able to ramp up our warm relationship through the New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Statement of Partnership," Marape said. He also requested New Zealand's assistance in providing 'eminent individuals' to mediate the Bougainville discussions once more. Other topics discussed were PNG's public sector reforms based on the New Zealand model, as well as PNG's labour export to New Zealand. Marape and Ardern also talked about Micronesia's decision to resign from the Pacific Islands Forum, with both leaders pledging to attempt to prevent this from happening. The gathering served as a warm-up for the APEC Informal Leaders Retreat on July 16th, with Marape emphasizing the importance of the group's role in assisting smaller Pacific nations. "The APEC family of nations can also assist (us) to maintain specific niche trade while being sensitive to COVID19, as many of our island nations are dependent on these niche businesses for the sustenance of our economies." Reference: RNZ (15 July 2021). “'Economic bubble' idea floated as PNG and NZ sign partnership”.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas
Photo: PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas Prior to the Korean-Pacific Islands Leaders (Kor-Pic) Meeting, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape joined other PIC Leaders for a breakfast caucus Chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown, to discuss the agenda and a common position on shared development issues. Prime Minister Marape said climate variation, being the perennial issue including sourcing appropriate development assistance from the Korean Government was high on the agenda. He said the encouragement during the caucus was for all PIC Leaders to discuss their developmental challenges and put forward their ideas on how Korean Development assistance could complement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. Following this caucus, Prime Minister Marape, met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Their discussions were centered around progress of the proposed Bilateral Security Treaty (BST), the recently concluded Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Visa issues and the PNG NRL Bid. On the BST, Prime Minister Marape mentioned that it was work in progress and required the PNG side to consult our domestic processes and sovereign laws in relation to certain wordings and provisions. He also conveyed his apologies to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the delay in formalising this proposed Treaty with Australia. For the DCA with the US, Prime Minister Marape informed that it was centered around improving the PNGDF's capabilities and interoperability including protecting our frontiers and sovereignty. He said it was non-discriminatory and PNG was open to entering into similar arrangements with its bilateral partners. “In fact, the DCA would also complement domestic law enforcement,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The Ship Rider Agreement on the other hand was also vital in combating illegal fishing and transnational crimes.” For Visa issues, Deputy Prime Minister Marles informed that the current Australian Government was fully aware of the situation and following the Ministerial Forum in February this year in Canberra, had established a Joint Ministerial Team to work on bringing the Australian visa processing facility back on shore to PNG. Prime Minister Marape in his response said that all processes from both sides had to be attended to in order for smooth facilitation and for citizens and businesses to continue without much hindrance now and heading into 2050 when PNG celebrates 50 years of nationhood. On Papua New Guinea’s NRL Bid, Prime Minister Marape explained that PNG was still very keen as rugby league was a major unifying factor, bringing our 800 tribes together as one people. In closing Prime Minister Marape assured Deputy Prime Minister Marles that PNG in no way would compromise its excellent existing bilateral relations with Australia and further stressed that PNG was capable of managing its sovereign affairs on its terms, systems and processes.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
ADB Helps Launch Vocational Education Project in PNG
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) today launched a cofinanced project to improve the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program. PNG's Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso delivered a keynote address at the launch event at Port Moresby Technical College. PNG’s Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Sports Don Polye, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann all spoke at the event. The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project financed by ADB and the governments of Australia and PNG will strengthen the country’s TVET program and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands. “We hope this project will become a model for all vocational education and skills training in TVET colleges in the country,” said Mr. Rosso. “The beneficiaries of this project—young, skilled workers, including women and men—represent PNG’s future, and through this project, the future of vocational education in PNG looks bright.” This project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers in the construction and agriculture sectors where demand is high. “We will work with our partners to help advance reforms in the vocational education and skills training space in PNG,” said Mr.Hill. “These sought-after skills in priority sectors will help grow PNG’s economy.” The TVET sector of PNG’s education system comprises public, religious, or private institutions, including technical and business colleges offering postsecondary courses and vocational training. “The Australian government is pleased to be supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its reform goals in technical and vocational education and training to increase the number and quality of skilled workers,” said Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann. “My vision for the TVET for Employment Project is that it will perform as an innovation and technology business incubator across PNG,” said Mr. Polye. “The project is the embodiment of a new approach—building a culture of quality education and innovation in a renewed and revitalized TVET sector.” The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project is funded through a $50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $10.6 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $5.7 million. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG Forges an Innovation-fueled Partnership with South Korea in Digital Transformation
Papua New Guinea was amongst seven other Pacific Island countries to sign a partnership statement of intent with the Republic of Korea to further cooperation and partnership in digital transformation. Information and Communications Technology Minister Timothy Masiu, who also was appointed co- chair of the just concluded Korea -Pacific Islands Digital Ministerial Conference in Seoul, South Korea, signed the statement together with the meeting chairman Korean Minister for Science and ICT Dr Lee Jong-Ho. The others who signed the partnership intent are Tonga, Nauru, Samoa, Palau, Cook Islands and Kiribati. Australia and the World Bank also attended the meeting as supporting partners. The Statement of Intent states; The partnership recognize digitalization has transformed not only daily lives but also shapes innovation in all sectors including politics, economy, society, culture and environment. Recognize and note that digital technology offers great potential to address various social economic challenges that come with rapid transformation of society. Agree on continued partnership in digital transformation inclusive of sustainable development will be the key to future prosperity of the people of Korea and the pacific. Agree on sharing digital vision of policies will pave way for strong partnership to digital co-prosperity. Mr Masiu expressed deep satisfaction that Korea , the global leading innovation country, has agreed to partner with Pacific countries including Papua New Guinea in digital transformation that will greatly enhance communication in a vast area like the Pacific and more so, strengthen supporting technology to better access to health, education and business. He told the conference that Papua New Guinea has begun the digital transformation with Parliament passing the Digital Government Act 2022 and relevant policies, and welcomed the partnership with the Republic of Korea, which he says, will go a long way in progressing the digital transformation agenda for PNG and the region. Mr Masiu had bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, further seeking a stronger country to country relations in digital transformation and support to the National Broadcasting Corporation proposing a partnership between the NBC and the Korean Broadcasting Services. The Minister has formally invited the Korean Minister for Science and ICT to visit Papua New Guinea for the Pacific ICT meeting in August 2023 or to accompany the South Korean President who has been invited by Prime Minister James Marape to visit PNG. Mr Marape was in Seoul also this week for the Korea- Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting. Minister Dr Lee Jong-Ho acknowledges the leadership of Papua New Guinea in digital transformation and reaffirmed its support to PNG and the other Pacific Island countries.