Let’s hope for a fruitful 2019

Editorial

THE year 2018 ends tonight at 12am.
Into eternity passes one more year in the ceaseless march of time.
A new year beckons.
So how do we mark 2018?
On the balance sheet of your daily activities this year, have you recorded a profit of good achievements, a break even or a loss?
Has it been a wasted 12 months or a busy and fruitful year?
At about this time last year, did you not sit down with note book, laptop, palm top or mobile phone and note down some dos and don’ts for the year?
Looking back can you honestly tell whether you have stuck by some of the resolutions you made, or have you failed them within a few weeks of the New Year?
It is no good plotting a new year until you have reviewed the old year and what has been achieved.
The highlight of this year is definitely the Apec Summit where 21 world leaders of economies met in Port Moresby last month.
There will never be such an opportunity again for perhaps another 20 years.
In preparation for that meeting, the capital city Port Moresby transformed.
While we share the sentiment of many on the level of disparity with other towns, the feeling of nationalism was in the air.
From that meeting, PNG will definitely be tapping into some of the world’s largest economies in terms of development with the various agreements signed then.
That aside, the 2019 budget announced last month will focus on revenue.
The economic sector in the 2019 plan received K742 million.
This sector includes agriculture, mining and other natural resource industries.
The Government side says it is the “best budget ever presented” while the Opposition described it as “fake”.
One thing for sure, PNG’s economy remains dominated by two wide sectors: agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors which engage most of PNG’s labour force (the majority informally); and the minerals and energy extraction sector which accounts for the majority of export earnings and GDP.
The World Bank overview of PNG states that to diversify PNG’s asset base and increase employment, investment is needed to strengthen capacity in institutions, human capital, and physical infrastructure.
Electricity, telecommunications, road and other transport infrastructure remain critical to enabling private sector-led growth.
PNG has complex cultural dynamics deeply rooted in tribal and ethnic identity, indigenous social institutions and land.
These lead to both daunting risk factors and capacities for resilience.
There are limited formal job opportunities for the growing employment age population.
Other risks include environmental management, population growth, political fragmentation, inequalities in PNG’s resource dominated economy, and social exclusion of some groups

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