Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ

DESPITE a difficult start to 2015, Papua New Guineans are taking a “short-term pain, long-term gain” view, according to ANZ’s inaugural PNG Quarterly Business Survey released this month.
Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ Short-term pain, long-term gain for PNG: ANZ

Declining sales, rising prices and running down inventory piled the pressure on for businesses, with the political climate also dragging down sentiment.

However, the short-term outlook was also positive, with businesses confident activity would increase in the next quarter.

Increased investment and a modest expansion in the workforce would further boost business attitudes, but checked by expectations of moderate economic growth.

The long-term view was "anchored in optimism", in which increased business over the next five years would spur increased investment in PNG, but with costs expected to rise considerably.

As "one of the most dynamic economies in the Pacific", the report aims to accurately measure and assess the country's economy for policymakers and businesses.

Pacific and Fiji CEO Vishnu Mohan reiterated this view, saying ANZ was continuing to invest in PNG and supporting local businesses through branch and digital banking services.

"ANZ's investment in PNG is a reflection of our confidence in our customers and in the long-term outlook for this country," he said.

"Given our long history and interests in PNG, we also understand the challenges, and more importantly, the significant potential that exists in this great nation.

"It is in this context that we are pleased to bring you the inaugural ANZ PNG Quarterly Business Survey, which provides a comparative assessment as well as a short and long-term outlook of the views of corporates with operations in PNG.

"The real value of this survey will come over time as we build a longer data set with which we can more clearly identify trends and make comparisons."

ANZ PNG CEO Mark Baker said there would be new challenges and that PNG's economy offered a lot of potential to people and businesses.

He also said the private sector should play a greater role in nation building.

"Clearly PNG is at a very interesting stage of development. Particularly in an economy where many of the services and infrastructure needed to support the economy are still developing, there is an even greater need for companies to run operations that are agile and able to address and overcome short-term challenges - whatever these may be," he said.

"We also believe that private businesses should play a greater, more dynamic role in nation building in PNG in the same way that private business does elsewhere.

"This is where we hope that the ANZ PNG Business Survey Report can serve as a valuable resource for current and potential investors, as well as for key PNG stakeholders and decision-makers, as we collectively help PNG to realise its full potential and drive sustainable, long-term growth."

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