The National, Monday 3rd June 2013
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed Moody’s investors’ service assessment yesterday, which rated Papua New Guinea as stable with a favourable medium-term economic outlook.
According to Moody’s outlook that was released last month, “PNG’s B1 local and foreign government issuer ratings have been supported by robust growth and low public debt”.
The ratings firm said institutional strengths improved from “very low only to very low to low”, while the government was showing “improved track record of performance”.
It also noted that the administrative capacity was bolstered by the government working with its development partners.
It said fiscal discipline, low debt and benign inflation reflected gain in policy management.
Moody’s added that while outlook was positive, PNG’s growth potential was constrained by poor infrastructure and law and order issues.
O’Neill said: “I welcome this assessment by Moody’s of PNG. I’m pleased that Moody’s has noted some of the improvements on the political front, policy management and the performance of our economy.
“A stable political climate will improve our rating and attract investment that will grow the economy further and create more opportunities for our people.
“Our government is committed to that …we have passed legislations for the 30 months grace period, and will look at strengthening the laws governing our political parties in the next sitting of Parliament.
“Moody’s says poor infrastructure, law and order and corruption are areas we need to address, and that is precisely what we have been doing since we formed government last year.
“We have unveiled a massive infrastructure programme and have begun to roll it out.
“We have started recruitment and training to increase police manpower to 10,000 by 2017.
“Our fight against corruption is ongoing, with the SWEEP team doing an excellent job.
O’Neill said ExxonMobil’s decision to look at taking up Elk and Antelope natural gas reservoirs, energy giant Total’s entry into PNG, among others reflected a growing confidence in PNG.