Chamber urges govt to consider investment decisions
Updated: Aug 17
Papua New Guinea’s economy is really struggling and it is important for the government to really consider its investment decisions and businesses’ concerns, according to the business community.
Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rio Fiocco said this when highlighting some of the concerns of business houses.
“The closure of the Porgera mine and now the Ok Tedi mine for 14 days is impacting foreign exchange inflows to the Central Bank at a time when businesses are finding it slow to get the foreign exchange they need in a timely fashion to pay their suppliers overseas,” Fiocco told said as the lockdown in Port Moresby ends today.
“Also there is no indication from the Government on when the Papua LNG project will commence.
“Businesses in Lae are anxiously waiting to hear when the negotiations with the developers of the Wafi-Golpu project will start.
“Businesses have, for the most part, not been paid their long overdue bills owed by the Government,” he said.
“There is a lack of dialogue between businesses and the Treasury and Finance officials as to when those bills will be paid.
“Covid-19 is also impacting on a lot of businesses particularly the airlines and tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The mines and the LNG and oil fields have introduced 14-day quarantine measures for their staff so this is an added cost to their businesses but at least these measures have allowed the Lihir and LNG fields to maintain their production levels unaffected by the pandemic,” Fiocco said.
Meanwhile, in a statement this week, Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) managing director and chief executive Musje Werror said the mine had been performing strongly this year and was therefore in a healthy cash and liquidity position.
He said the company was well positioned to withstand the financial impact of the 14-day lockdown which is estimated to be in the order of K100 million.
“OTML generates a significant amount of foreign currency inflows into PNG and the suspension is likely to reduce US dollar receipts by approximately $40million (K136.7million).”
He said copper and gold production had dropped.