Tucked under rugged ranges between Gulf and Eastern Highlands is Menyamya, one of the least developed districts in the country.
Category Archives: Economy
Abel Briefs World Bank and IMF on Next Moves to Advance PNG’s Submarine Internet Cable and Discussed Concessional Funding for Restructuring Debt
22 October 2017
Source: Office Of The Prime Minister
Engagement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, that will stimulate positive economic development in the face of global challenges, has been advanced at meetings in Washington D.C. by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon. Charles Abel MP.
Deputy Prime Minister Abel said the new submarine fibre optic communications cable project, that will deliver cheaper and faster Internet, and the provision of concessional financing for the restructuring of existing debt, will deliver positive economy stimulus for the economy.
“Papua New Guinea has a close working relationship with the World Bank and IMF, and the benefits of this engagement will become even more obvious to our people with the delivery of cheaper and faster Internet.
“Working with the World Bank, and also our partners in Australia, the new submarine communications cable will deliver greater Internet access for Papua New Guineans.
“The new communications cable will make the Internet we received on our computers and smart phones much faster, and with the increased supply we will see Internet data prices fall.
“Increased access to the Internet is essential if we are to advance Papua New Guinea’s economy and improve service delivery.
“The submarine cable has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and now we are moving ahead so that it will be in place ahead of the APEC Summit.
“The time given to our country by the World Bank and IMF executive for meetings in Washington was tremendous.
“I took the opportunity to remind them of the particular circumstances of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific small island states.
“I said PNG has globally significant natural assets to build a new, responsible, sustainable economy that brings inclusive development to its people but also can support climate change mitigation globally.
“We are confronted with our immediate development challenges and are also on the frontline of the effects of climate change.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said discussions with the World Bank on restructuring existing debt with concessional funding will further simplify debt that has been established over recent decades, and reduce servicing costs.
“Papua New Guinea has never defaulted on a debt payment, and this is respected by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“We are in talks with the World Bank and IMF so that we can bring together a number of scattered debts and consolidate these under a single debt facility at a much more favourable interest rate.
“Debt consolidation will save public funds and retire outstanding loans quicker than had previously been possible.”
Deputy Prime Minister Abel was accompanied by Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, and the Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Loi Bakani.
As well as the main Plenary Sessions of the World Bank Meeting, the DPM participated on 3 panels, including a panel with the World Bank CEO, and the Finance Ministers for Indonesia and Serbia, on Asia and the Growing Middle Class and Inclusive Development.
The DPM also had 15 meetings including separate meetings with CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Gregorieva, Asia Pacific Director, Victoria Kwakwa, and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison.
However, this under developed district is rich with fertile soil renowned for producing one of the country’s best organic coffee.
“We produce some the best organic coffee in the country, but we don’t have roads to transport them to nearest markets in Lae or Goroka,” a local said.
Like many isolated rural communities, road access remains a barrier to development and for Menyamya, it has been a barrier for their economic progress and access to basic services.
In the last 5 years the O’Neill-led Government has prioritised the opening of missing road links.
On Tuesday, Works Minister, Michael Nali, told the people of Menyamya that the Government will allocate funding from a K3 billion Asian Development Bank loan in order to open missing links in the district.
“There are many road links in the district, once we open the trans-highway between Gulf and Morobe, Menyamya will be open to the rest of the country as well,” Minister Nali said.
The K3 billion funding from ADB will be put to reconstruct the entire Highlands Highway, Nadzab to Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Rimbink Pato extended the invitation when arriving in Dubai on Tuesday.
Pato said he would be discussing with UAE what they would like to do in PNG, with particular interest in technology and renewable energy.
“The International Renewable Energy Agency is based in UAE and we are keen for it to assist with a review of our renewable energy options.
“We want to find what would best suit PNG, whether it is one or more of the options such as hydro, solar, biomass, windmills, thermal and waves.
“The expertise that UAE has in desalination and sewage management is also of great interest to PNG.”
Approved for Release
19 October 2017
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced that Hon. Justin Tkatchenko BEM OL MP, has been appointed as Minister Responsible for APEC.
PM O’Neill said with less than two months remaining before the start of APEC 2018, it is timely for the Minister to resume the portfolio he held before the National Elections.
Responsibility for APEC will be added to the Minister’s current portfolio of Lands and Physical Planning.
“Minister Tkatchenko has substantial experience in the co-ordination of major events at the ministerial level,” the Prime Minister said.
“As minister he oversaw the successful delivery of the Pacific Games and the Pacific Islands Forum.
“Hosting APEC is of much greater magnitude, and Minister Tkatchenko is well placed to ensure the successful delivery of all of the components that must be delivered for APEC in the coming year.
“Over the past three years Minister Tkatchenko has had a core role in planning for APEC 2018 in Papua New Guinea, and particularly as APEC Minister prior to elections.”
The Prime Minister said the start of Papua New Guinea’s APEC year is only months away and Government preparations continue to increase.
“Beginning with the Informal Senior Officials Meeting in December, the focus of APEC Member Economies, and the regional business community, will be on Papua New Guinea.
“Through the year we will hold a range of technical and Ministerial meetings concluding with the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November 2018.
“In this time there will be substantial attention on the delivery of major projects including the construction of APEC Haus, the Hilton Hotel and the renovation and upgrade of Morauta House and the National Convention Centre.
“In the delivery phase of APEC we will see the ongoing increase in personnel and the training regime for staff who are delivering APEC logistics, security and the policy agenda.
“Papua New Guinea will experience significant gains from hosting APEC that will not only include the promotion of trade, investment and tourism, but in capacity strengthening in economic sectors.
“The APEC policy agenda and technical support covers a wide range of areas critical for development and the creation of more jobs.
“This includes agriculture, forestry, transportation, tourism and resources, that are all essential for future economic growth in the country.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said he has tasked the commission to carry out the review in a bid to fully understand the factors causing high rental costs.
Abel said while the government’s initiative to make housing more affordable though is First Home Ownership Scheme is still ongoing, there are still many who rely on rental accommodation.
Accompanied by his Vice Minister for Treasury, Win Daki, Abel visited the ICCC yesterday as part of a routine stopover at various government institutions.
During their visit, the Deputy Prime Minister, announced the inclusion of the rental markets review, among existing reviews the commission is undertaking.
Abel said the rental market may need intervention, however, that will be decided once the review is completed and presented to the government.
“Many of us rely on rental to put a roof over our heads and our families. And in a general sense we want to allow free market activity. But I think in selected areas maybe for interim arrangement we can come up with Government intervention.
“So in the first instance we have to have the correct facts and figures, and the ICCC I’ve asked the Commissioner to look at the rental markets starting in Port Moresby, and is it reasonable? Is the private sector imposing upon us and the citizens within the housing market rates that are at a fair profit margin? Or are they unfairly imposing rental costs on our citizens which transfer value unfairly to elements of the private sector,” he said.
Through his visit Abel also wanted to know about the status of the commission.
He also announced that his Vice Minister would directly be responsible for the affairs of the ICCC.
ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said once they receive the Terms of Reference from the Government they will begin the review.
The review will begin in Port Moresby.