Business Sector Faces Uncertainty
The business community faces a great deal of uncertainty in 2021.
According to Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rio Fiocco, this was because of the present political instability in connection with the 2021 budget and the commencement of major resource projects.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment both on the political scene and in respect to the budget,” Fiocco said. “The budget shows that there is a significant deficit and there is uncertainty as to how that deficit will be paid by the Government. All the uncertainties are not helping businesses plan because (we do not know) when some of these major resource projects are likely to get started. The budget shows that the government is expecting Porgera to be reopened by July next year which will be fantastic. The earlier it is opened, the better for business generally.”
He added that no one is sure when the Papua LNG project will push through with its construction and production stages.
“Likewise there is still uncertainty on when the government will sit down with the developers to finalise a mine development contract for Wafi Golpu,” he said. “Businesses like certainty. For example, we are unsure who the various ministers are because there have been various changes lately. We don’t know whether some of these appointments will be temporary or new ministers will be appointed and so on. All these uncertainties do not give confidence to the business community.”
Meanwhile, Fiocco said that many businesses had already adapted to doing business in spite of the pandemic. “Businesses have adapted and are carrying on using Covid-19 protocols,” he said. “Businesses are generally picking up from the first half of the year.”