O’Neill in tune with health

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 7, 2010

MINISTER for Treasury and Finance Peter O’Neill has told potential mining and petroleum investors at the 11th PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum in Sydney that the government is focused on policy priorities of the nation to make a conducive investment.
He said policy priorities as reflected in the medium term development plans, the PNG Development Strategy and the Vision 2050.
O’Neill said spending had been shifted to high policy-driven development priority areas to underpin the implementations of these important plans.
“Overall, the government is committed to achieving a positive economic and fiscal outlook in the medium term.
“As the theme for the 2011 Budget states, the medium term economic and fiscal outlook reflects the government’s commitment to building the foundation for economic growth and prosperity and take account substantially improve our socio-economic development,” O’Neill added.
He projected that in the mining and quarrying sector, it was expected to grow very strongly in 2011 and 2012 as recent and new mines realise full production.
However, he said in 2013, production was expected to decline as mature mine like Ok Tedi wound down operations and prepare for close in 2014.
Ramu nickel was expected to start production later next year, ramping up to full production in 2012 with production expected to remain steady thereafter.
O’Neill stressed that the declining trend of oil extraction was expected to continue to weigh down the petroleum sector with production rates expected to decline from around 13 million barrels expected this year to five million barrels in 2015.
He also highlighted that over the medium term, trade deficit was expected to narrow as the construction phase of PNG LNG project wound down.