By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI in Brisbane
ONE of Australia’s senior economists, Tim Harcourt, discovered recently that PNG was a busy traffic for Australian businesses.
Some use it as a staging point for the Pacific and PNG was able to absorb the global financial crisis (GFC), he said.
He also found working in PNG was as exciting as captaining Liverpool or Manchester United in soccer teams.
There are 4,233 Australian businesses exporting goods to PNG, which puts it 7th place overall in terms of exporter destinations, and just behind China but ahead of Malaysia and Japan in the top 10.
In terms of exporting SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), PNG was again in the top 10, level with Japan.
Mr Harcourt is author of a recently published book, Airport Economist, in which he described himself as the “airport economist” who flies into various cities in the world, makes a quick assessment of economic and business potentials and advises the Australian Trade Commission (AusTrade) – his employer.
On Tuesday , he made an observation of the PNG economy in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald with a headline: “PNG well placed to absorb GFC”.
He observed that PNG was an important destination for Australian exporters, particularly the SMEs.
Mr Harcourt was in Port Moresby two weeks ago for an Australian trade display and met with Australian High Commissioner Chris Moraitis, AusAID boss Bill Costello and Austrade’s senior economist John Brand.
Mr Brand had told him PNG was a busy export traffic, a busy spot for Australian businesses.
These included construction, education, tourism, and mining and petroleum. And now a lot of new exporters were using PNG as a bit of a test bed to see how they would go in the Pacific generally.