Economic future bright


THE business community in Lae is optimistic that economic conditions will progressively improve this year, according to Lae Chamber of Commerce Inc. president Alan McLay.
McLay told The National that businesses in Lae were operating in difficult circumstances due to the lack of circulation of the Kina and the shortage of foreign exchange.
He however forecast that the economy was expected to improve on the back of increased prices for PNG commodity exports towards the latter part of the year.
“Business remains tough in Lae especially for retailers and wholesalers,” McLay said.
“This is caused by two main reasons – less money in circulation and the shortage of forex. Manufacturers are also suffering for the same reasons.
“We are as ever optimistic. And there is a general feeling that commodity prices for the bulk of PNG exports will pick up toward the end of this year, which will bear well for the overall PNG economy.”
McLay said several ongoing and planned developments made Lae a worthwhile investment destination for businesses despite the challenging economic situation.
“We still believe that Lae remains the premium place to invest in PNG for the appropriate businesses,” he said.
“Investment continues even though we are facing tough economic times. For example the plans in place for a new tuna fishing and processing plant to be set up in Lae at Malahang, and the plans for the giant Wafi-Golpu mining development on Lae’s doorstep.”
He said the port development in Lae was progressing toward the operation of the Tidal Basin port.
“This will make the nation’s number one port more efficient,” he said.
He also noted the continuation of the Lae to Nadzab Highway “to enable more movements of traffic to the country’s second largest airport”.
“This will bring more commercial, industrial and residential development in the Nadzab corridor and the agreement to commence redevelopment of Nadzab airport by 2021,” he said.
“The agreement to construct the Ramu Two  Power station at Yonki will add over 200 MW of hydro-generated power to the Ramu grid, which is ample to cater for future development.”

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