Cover of The Report: Papua New Guinea 2020

The Report: Papua New Guinea 2020

The economic downturn resulting from lower global commodity prices and the completion of the PNG LNG project means the future of Papua New Guinea must be navigated with care. The country possesses plentiful natural resources, which, given effective management, could provide new revenue to spur diversification, as well as sustainable and equitable growth in all provinces.

The government of Papua New Guinea faces some challenges in 2020, with the electorate calling for improvements to social and economic infrastructure, and greater efforts to combat both real and perceived corruption. Despite these difficulties, PNG’s resource wealth and strategic location between the industrial centres of north-east Asia, the rising economies of the Association of South-east Asian Nations and the developed countries of Australasia means it is well poised for long-term growth – provided the government can maximise the benefits from resource projects. Expansion in the non-extractive sectors will also prove important for the government’s goal of generating inclusive growth and enhancing self-sufficiency, particularly as the majority of the working population is formally or informally employed in agriculture.

Although the government took decisive actions to prevent community transmission of Covid-19, the pandemic has led to considerable global changes. PNG’s structural challenges will be exacerbated by the effects of the virus; the country’s lack of access to health facilities and the integrity of existing facilities are of particular concern. Nevertheless, PNG is expected to benefit from fiscal reform, new extractive projects and stronger ties with the region after hosting the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2018.

OBG & Papua New Guinea

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