The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
PAPUA New Guinea has received 75 loans worth US$1.5 billion (K3.3 billion) since joining the Asian Development Bank in 1971.
PNG has also received one Asian Development Fund grant worth US$15 million (K33 million) and 148 technical assistance projects worth US$62.8 million (K136.5 billion) making it ADB’s largest partner in the Pacific in terms of loans for public and private sector development.
These figures were revealed during ADB president Takehiko Nakao’s two-day visit during which he met with top government officials and business leaders and visited two key ADB-funded projects.
On Monday, Nakao met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Treasurer and ADB governor (PNG) Don Polye, National Planning and Monitoring Minister Charles Abel, and other government officials and development partners to discuss the development outlook for PNG and ADB’s activities in the country.
During a breakfast yesterday, Nakao addressed the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce where he stressed that PNG must be more than an exporter of raw materials and must embrace innovation and new technologies such as mobile telecommunications that will open up new business opportunities and can help deliver health, education and other social services more effectively.
“To achieve sustainable growth, PNG must become more inclusive, more integrated and more innovative,” he said.
“The government must use revenues effectively to restore and upgrade the national infrastructure network. It must ensure that different parts of the PNG economy are well connected and that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably.”
Nakao emphasised the importance of continued reforms of state-owned enterprises and improving transparency of resource revenue management. PNG also needs to create a financial system that supports small-and medium-sized firms, which have been a key source of innovation and job creation across the Asia and Pacific region.
He also visited the Rouna hydro power station, which will be rehabilitated under ADB’s recently signed Port Moresby power grid development project, and Jackson’s Airport, one of the sites being upgraded under the civil aviation development investment programme.