Economy weakened in first six months: Report

Business

THE mid-year economic and fiscal outlook has reported that the economy has weakened with companies reporting lower earnings in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year.
Kina Group stated in its July synopsis released yesterday that an amicable and speedy resolution of matters between the government and developers of the Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu projects was critical for stimulating the economy.
It also stated that there had been promising indications made by Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua in relation to the Papua LNG contract.
Prime Minister James Marape is expected to make an announcement regarding the future of Wafi-Golpu before Sept 16.
It further noted that the start of construction of those two large projects was critical in providing the necessary impetus for growth in the short term while ensuring an equitable sharing of benefits in the longer term.
Meanwhile, Marape’s state visit to Australia this past month was aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
The Australian government promised K597 million for an electrification project while the PNG government expressed its desire to attract investors for its manufacturing sector.
Discussions around the economy, trade and development proceeded successfully.
However, the topic of Chinese involvement in PNG was “off the table” as Marape maintained that PNG welcomed all countries as friends.
Negotiations for a K960 million support loan from the China Development Bank have continued longer than expected and may be settled in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, budget support loans of K320 million from the Asian Development Bank and K224 million from the World Bank are expected to be drawn down over the same period as well.

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