Drop in oil, LNG prices could affect economy, says council


THE country’s economic outlook is forecast to face a “downside”, according to the Business Council of PNG.
Council representative David Toua told the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum webinar last week in Port Moresby that based on recent surveys conducted by the council, the outlook would face a “downside” if there was a big decrease in prices of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
He said there had been a slow recovery from the impact of the Covid-19, with consumption back in line with expectations.
“Unfortunately, we are tracking towards the downside,” Toua said.
“In terms of a market report card, compliance framework relating to Covid-19, we scored it a B. It has worked because of the trust that the controller and the government has had in business to self-regulate.
“We do see commerce operating as best as it can in this new normal.
“In terms of the economic recovery though, the graph is getting steeper to a downward trajectory.
“The government has a challenge and the first thing to recommend is to bring some of the resource projects online so that they can stimulate the economy for us.
“(As to) the knock-on effect of these projects, history will tell us that in 2007, we actually commenced a boom period of five or six years on the back of the announcement of a major resources project.
“So I think that request is probably at the top of the wish list. Government please approve some of those projects so we can actually get the money coming in.
“In terms of the many aspirations around SMEs and restricted business, it is timing. The time to do many of those aspirations may not be now.”