Treasurer welcomes IMF findings

TREASURER Charles Abel has welcomed the 2017 Article IV Country Report from the International Monetary Fund which analysed Papua New Guinea’s economic governance alongside the initial policy decisions of the new government.
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Charles Abel

Staff Reporter

"The Article IV Report is frank in acknowledging the challenges facing the PNG economy but is predicting improvements in 2018 on the back of a 2.4% growth in GDP, up from 2.2% in 2017," Abel said.
"The IMF recognises that this outlook does not factor in any of the emerging resource projects such as the Papua LNG, the PNG LNG project expansion, Stanley Gas, Wafi Golpu or Frieda River."
"When it comes to monetary policy and foreign currency, the culmination of global commodity price slumps and domestic pressures including serious drought, as well as the end of the construction phase of the PNG-LNG project have induced challenges," Abel said.
"At the same time, the IMF acknowledges the strength of the nation's financial institutions and their prudent balance sheets which have contributed to the resilience and positive growth of the economy in the face of global slowdowns.
"The risks associated with sustainable debt levels and financing our deficit budgets is noted, while the report also notes Papua New Guinea's continuing relatively low debt to GDP levels compared to other countries."
Abel further highlighted the ongoing co-operation and productive working relationship Papua New Guinea has with the IMF that is delivering tangible outcomes for the economy.
"The IMF has worked with our officials to develop the new Medium Term Revenue Strategy, and we have asked for support in developing a Medium Term Monetary Strategy.
"I'm pleased the IMF is constructively engaging with Papua New Guinea and is understanding our efforts to address the short and longer term issues on our path to a self-reliant, sustainable and wealthy country.
"We are very clear about the aspirations we have for our nation, and to achieve these outcomes we must listen to and rely on frank and sound advice from experienced institutions such as the IMF.
"The economic governance of our country relies on drawing not only from our own knowledge and experience, but from the development experience of economies which experience similar challenges and opportunities."
Abel emphasised that economic prospects for the economy were positive, and would be further boosted as Papua New Guinea hosts APEC throughout the year.
"Through 2018 and beyond, with the rebound in resource prices, and as we move towards the construction phase of the Papua LNG project, we can be confident but we must also continue to exercise discipline starting with the delivery of the 2018 Budget.
"The 2018 year will be very important for Papua New Guinea as we host more than 15,000 delegates, ministers and leaders from the APEC economies," Abel said.