Bank confident in SWF

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday 10th April, 2013


BANK of PNG deputy governor Benny Popoitai is confident that the sovereign wealth fund (SWF) will be up and running before first LNG exports next year.

“We hope to have the legislation amended to effect the changes so that we can establish the SWF and have it running before the LNG revenue hits our coffers,” he told The National.

“The SWF has its own challenges.

“We’re gone through several changes and different people have different views, but the intent is to stabilise the economy.

“How the money is spent is something else.

“The primary objective of the SWF is to give stability to the economy to prevent what we call the Dutch Disease, too much money chasing too few goods in the country, thereby increasing prices through the roof.

“The intent is there.

“How the monies in the SWF are spent through the government budget is something for the government to decide.”

Asked about membership of the SWF, Popoitai said: “We are adopting international standards of governance.

“Reporting and transparency is paramount in the whole government structure of the SWF.

“We hope that once established, there’ll be little pressure on the people who are running it, so ensure that they do their job as well as they could.

“The board will be approved through a process.

“The legislation says a Papua New Guinean will chair it.

“The composition of the board will depend on a process that needs to be established by the SWF technical committee and the secretariat committee, and supported by NEC (national executive council) endorsement,” Popoitai said.