Post-Courier June 7, 2017
Category Archives: Economy
*** Regional APEC Meetings to Deliver Real Benefits Around the Nation ***
Tourism will generate thousands of jobs in the coming years, and the hosting of APEC events in growing tourism hubs will make an important contribution to this growing sector.
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, was speaking with around two thousand PNC supporters in Kavieng when he assured them that their current local member’s threat to cancel the hosting of APEC next year is just hot air.
He said the election of Martin Aini as the PNC Candidate for Kavieng Open is the only way the district can advance with a dedicated elected leader who is committed to the interests of the district and the country.
“These claims by a single opposition member that he would cancel APEC cannot be taken seriously,” the Prime Minister said.
“I have already had to assure our APEC partner economies that he is just one opposition member from 111 in the Parliament, and has a record for making highly questionable statements just to get attention.
“If you ask almost any other member of the Parliament if they agree with Papua New Guinea hosting APEC in 2018, they would be supportive.
“The Kavieng Member’s threat to cancel APEC has also backfired because it would mean cancelling the APEC Tourism Minister’s meeting, part of which will take place in his district.
“The Member for Kavieng would take APEC away from his own electorate just political mischief.
“His four party members do not support him, and even the Opposition Leader is against such foolish tactics.
“Hosting an APEC meeting is a very effective way to promote tourism and culture in regional centres, as well as encourage skills transfer and local capacity development.”
The Prime Minister said people around the country are tired of candidates who are standing without any clear policies and who just want to run the country down.
“The only people who are knocking the economy are in the opposition.
“They have spent this whole campaign making false claims, talking the economy down, and never offering any real alternatives.
“The current Member for Kavieng has demonstrated that he is not in this election for his people, but for himself.
“That is another reason why the people of Kavieng need to elect an intelligent and balanced leader, and that is what you have in Martin Aini.
“Martin Aini is a leader who will work hard in his electorate and work in the interests of his people and the nation.”
The comments by the current Kavieng Member are at odds with his earlier statements where he embraced advancing national economic development through deepening engagements with APEC.
Prime Minister’s Office PNG June 1, 2017 at 5.41 pm
Highway redeveloped at K145m and renamed Sir Reuben Taureka
BY TONY SII
The Government will continue to borrow and invest in infrastructure despite “negative criticisms” on more international borrowings, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said yesterday.
Mr O’Neill said this during the opening of the redeveloped Six-Mile to Bautama section of the Magi Highway from Moresby South to Central Province which he renamed Sir Reuben Taureka Highway.
This 12km stretch cost more than K145 million to build.
“When you make such a negative criticism that is not constructive, then all you simply do is make me more stubborn. That means I’m on the right path, so I will build more roads, schools, hospitals, airports, and infrastructure for our people,” the prime minster said.
“We are borrowing more money because we are able to repay that money; we have never defaulted on all our loans all this time since independence in 1975. Our economy has almost doubled over the last five years, meaning that we have the capacity to repay those loans.”
Mr O’Neill said bankers would not lend PNG money if PNG did not have the ability to repay the loan – “that is common sense, not only for government but businesses as well as. That’s why Papua New Guineans must not be afraid of this issue about loans,” he added.
He said 99 percent of the countries in the world borrow money to build infrastructure to grow the economy and develop their country, and Papua New Guinea was no exception.
“They don’t do it any other way if there is any other solutions, believe me I would have already found out. I’m not blind, I am not stupid. I know exactly what I am doing, and that is why we are continuing to build infrastructure to serve you,” Mr O’Neill said.
“The construction industry employs thousands of Papua New Guineans, that is why we must put more money into construction, not only in Port Moresby but right throughout the country.
“We know that Highlands and some of our national highways are big problems. Two weeks ago our government gave a contract to Dekenai Constriction to maintain the road from Laloki Bridge to Kerema.
“Today you can ride from Port Moresby to Kerema on a sealed road, but potholes are still there.
“We want zero potholes on all these highways throughout the country. That’s the beginning that we have partnered with World Bank to do so,” he said.
Prime Minister O’Neill said his government had delivered a lot in terms of infrastructure and basic services in the past five years, compared to previous governments.
“In the last government between 1999 and 2011 when the country had so many trust accounts and so many billions of kina sitting in these accounts, what did they build?
“These same people want to lead your country; you ask them what they have built. They have built nothing, zero; not one road, bridge, school, hospital.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill sacks Patrick Pruaitch as minister to maintain confidence in the economy and ensure responsible administration of the Treasury portfolio
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has sacked Patrick Pruaitch as Treasury Minister.
Mr O’Neill said the Member for Aitape-Lumi Open will now serve as Minister without portfolio.
He said the decision to relieve Mr Pruaitch of his portfolio was made in order to maintain confidence in the economy and ensure responsible administration of the Treasury portfolio.
Mr Pruaitch was not immediately available to comment. However, Mr O’Neill said Patrick Pruatich had been relieved of Treasury responsibilities and will remain as minister without portfolio until after the National Election.
“Following recent comments, that have only served to undermine the work and function of the Treasury, his position has become untenable.
The Prime Minster has not sacked coalition partner National Alliance Party, but just relieving the party leader.
“Following recent comments, that have only served to undermine the work and function of the Treasury, his position has become untenable,” Mr O’Neill said.
“These recent claims on the economy, for which he has had sole responsibility as Treasurer for the past five years of this government, have undermined his role and credibility. Further, recent misleading comments on election funding, which was also under his ministerial delegation, have been driven by political motivation over substance.
“Minister Pruaitch is an experienced member of Cabinet and should know all of the established protocols associated with being a member of the National Executive Council and the Executive Government. In this role he is expected to behave in a manner of political interests.
“His recent announcement that he wishes to be elected Prime Minister has clouded his judgment and prevents him from continuing to hold on to this position.
“Leaders have to take ownership of the issues and outcomes for which they are responsible, rather than abandoning their prior decisions and actions for political convenience.
“This decision is regrettable, but necessary, in order to maintain confidence in the economy and its continued growth.
“I wish him well in his election nomination, and hope that common sense will prevail during this period where even grown men are driven to making foolish and misguided decisions for the sake of politics.”
The Prime Minister will have responsibility for Treasury and consult with coalition partners as to the immediate future of this portfolio allocation.
PAPUA New Guinea is amongst other Pacific Island countries excluding Fiji and Solomon Islands to have permanent representation in the World Trade Organisation.
This was revealed by the Secretary for Trade Commerce and Industry John Andrias yesterday.
Mr Andrias said however some are still in the process of establishing representation with the WTO.
He said PNG made a conscious decision to join the WTO and be part of the Multilateral Trading System (MTS) because it believes that the system provides security and stability in trade for all its members even more so for the smallest and most vulnerable economies.
“We believe the system was developed with the purpose of promoting prosperity for all its members,” he stated.
Therefore, Mr Andrias said Fiji and Solomon islands have a permanent representation in Geneva to help them so they have a mission.
PNG is represented from its Brussels mission and due to the distance they are not there on a day to day basis to attend to all the negotiations taking place in Geneva.
“We have done some submissions over the last three years, we have NEC endorsement but to date we are still looking at ways to get a mission established in Geneva because Geneva is a strategic location where you have the UN missions like WTO, ILO there so it will not be a mistake to have a permanent representation in Geneva where we will be able to safe guard our interests and also to look at ways to get more benefits and developments.
The rest of us who are members of WTO, rely on Pacific Islands Secretariat through Madam Mere Falemaka to represent us,” he said.
Mr Andrias said there is a small dedicated team in Geneva that monitors all the negotiations on all areas including export or fisheries subsidies issues which were not discussed or on the table over the last 16 years.
“So for us as a country and a region that that is dependent on fisheries, we are to ensure that there are proper rules and policies for us.
“Our interest is to be accommodated so we have to be in there to ensure that our interest in terms of policies and development aspirations are
all captured in the export subsidy rules that will be negotiated and accepted by all members once everyone agrees to it,” he said.
BY MELISHA YAFOI
Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull emphasised this yesterday at the Australia- Papua New Guinea Business breakfast in Port Moresby before his departure for India.
Mr Turnbull said this says a lot in its investment in mining, oil and gas and it contributes to PNG’s economic growth for both countries.
He highlighted that almost 5,000 Australian companies are doing business in PNG through a two way economic relationship being united through development goals and big trade agreements.
He made mentioned that the merchandise trade between the two has seen a drop partly due to the downturn in the commodities market and as foreign businesses accessing the PNG markets.
“PNG already has a duty free access to the Australian market but more can be done about the bio-security arrangements, our requirements and you’ve got high quality products that Australia distributes.
The recent ministerial forum has agreed to look and establish a trade, investment and economic working group to address economic issues and foster for operations,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said both governments have recognised that many things need to be done to improve the business environment for businesses to come and invest in PNG. He pointed out that PNG has been receiving significant corporation and large scale investments which was attracted by its vast and rich resources.
“ExxonMobil, Santos and Oil Search who have seen how transforming it has seen how foreign investment has been contributing to PNG’s infrastructure and skills development and also contributing the doubling of employment in PNG by the private sector in the past ten years.
“It also creates opportunities for local suppliers to support local communities and investments in education, health and on the environment. New and major projects are already in the pipeline including extending of the ExxonMobil $26 million LNG projects that will develop new gas fields.
“To make this a reality and to extend the benefits of investments for more Papua New Guineans, you must continue to work together to bring all best practices that will attract long term investment. As we all know will benefit both regions.
“Now is crucial as large projects are the engine of the economy and the diversification must encourage the growth of the economy and our businesses.
“Had it not been for the big free trade agreements that we secure, the opening of access for full range of exports for the markets from Australia servicing agricultural products will not be possible.
To have a resilient economy, brilliant economy is absolutely critical,” he said.