PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%

PAPUA New Guinea’s potential export revenues could grow 400% to $US23 billion ($A24.1 billion) by 2030 with $112 billion in new investment, according to a report commissioned by ANZ.
PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%
PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%
PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%
PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%
PNG potential to grow revenues by 400%

The ANZ insight report, Bold Thinking: Imagining PNG in the Asian Century, highlights significant potential for PNG to benefit from Asia's growing demand for natural resources and agricultural commodities.

Completed by Australian consultancy firm Port Jackson Partners, the report highlights the need for balanced growth and reform in resources, infrastructure and agriculture.

It also predicts natural resources export opportunities in PNG will require an estimated $112 billion in capital investment to 2030.

The report states natural resources have a key initial role in generating the wealth needed to invest in infrastructure, while agriculture can drive sustained growth by facilitating agribusiness entrepreneurship.

It also highlights the potential for essential infrastructure improvement through prioritisation, private sector involvement and improved governance.

"Asia's industrialisation and urbanisation is creating a unique opportunity for Papua New Guinea in natural resources and agriculture," ANZ chief executive officer Mike Smith said.

"Although there are many challenges in realising this opportunity, continued action to put in place the right policy and institutional settings could see sustained national economic growth and significant improvements in the prosperity of PNG's people.

"A key issue from this report is that mobilising foreign capital will be critical to realising the opportunity that Asia's growth is creating in PNG.

"Capital goes where there is stability and certainty, and if PNG can consistently demonstrate this the potential is enormous.

"Many stakeholders need to contribute to realising this bold and positive vision for PNG.

"Our aim with this report is to make a significant contribution to the national conversation that is underway about PNG's future success and to create a fresh perspective on the nation and the opportunities it has."

According to the report, PNG has enormous potential - if it can overcome challenges including the increasing global competition for capital, the need for world-class infrastructure and build a more productive, export-oriented agricultural industry.

Speaking at the launch of the report at the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday, ANZ Pacific CEO Vishnu Mohan said: "The Bold Thinking report highlights PNG's potential to grow resource sector export revenues to four to six times their current levels, or around $23 billion to $36 billion by 2030.

"For example, by 2030 LNG could be the largest source of export income and could grow to around half of resources sector revenue.

"Copper exports could triple from $1.1 billion today to $3 billion in 2030.

"To do this, PNG must deliver the current pipeline of projects and continue to establish itself as a credible investment destination."

Mohan said the opportunity for PNG was not just about natural resources.

"Half of global growth in demand for food will come from Asia over the next 20 years," he added.

"PNG has ample land capacity and water and there is enormous potential for agriculture.

"However a number of key challenges will need to be met, including creating the necessary scale, attracting agribusiness entrepreneurs and investors, continuing coordinated reform and improving transport infrastructure and logistics.

"The government has already set ambitious agricultural targets that reflect this potential and realising the significant increases in agricultural production that are envisaged will be critical to protect PNG's economy from an overdependence on natural resources," Mohan said.

ANZ Papua New Guinea CEO Mark Baker said it was time PNG fostered a bold national conversation about the opportunities open to it as part of the Asian century.

"Business also needs to play its role in supporting that discussion in order to help create an attractive investment environment, build strong institutions and contribute to balanced economic development," he said.

"Asia will become the world's major supplier of capital in the coming years and continuing to build closer trade and investment ties, while maintaining PNG's important and long-standing relationships with traditional neighbours like Australia, will be critical to its future economic success."

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