Foreign exchange rallies


THE foreign exchange issue has improved when compared to last year with a reduction in the backlog demand of K1.9 billion to a manageable K700 million, according to the Bank of PNG.
Governor Loi Bakani said the improvement and the reserve of about K5 billion was sufficient for the upkeep of the economy.
“At the moment, the foreign exchange issue is very much more improved. Prior to 2016 and the early part of 2016, we had very big issues in foreign exchange,” he said.
“There was a long queue of people waiting to be served and some of them put in order to pay for imports or services outside of Papua New Guinea. They had to wait for a long time.
“That situation is very much improved now.
“When you put in your order prior to early last year you could wait for up to six weeks or even up to 10 weeks.
“Today people can put in their order and wait for one or two weeks. That is very big improvement.
“These are subject to a lot of verification on an ongoing basis. But the backlog is from K1.9 billon which was the highest, to K1.5 billion, and now it is K700 million.
“In terms of our reserves, we have US$1.7 billion which is probably over K5 billion so it is very much sufficient.
“That came down from a high of K4 billion in 2012.
“That difference is mainly because of debt servicing by the government and a lot of it is for supporting the foreign exchange market.”