PNG resources sector progressing


PAPUA New Guinea’s resources sector continues to grow, according to Westpac senior economist Justin Smirk, pictured.
He said the economic growth was 2 per cent in 2015, 2.5 per cent last year. It is expected to be the same this year and 2018.
He said progress in the global economy was projected to be steady at 3.7 per cent this year and up to 2019. Smirk said the improvement in PNG’s economic growth came from its resource sector, in particular the LNG plant and gold and copper exports.
He said the PNG kina would continue to depreciate.
“While the global economic outlook in 2017 remains positive, PNG’s currency will continue to depreciate as a result of the US dollar’s stronger growth as Europe and China’s growth remain stable in the global economy,” he said.
Smirk last Thursday addressed a business breakfast hosted by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said there would be a challenging few years ahead where growth in the resources sector was expected  to be stagnant as large projects from oil and gas industry were yet to go online.
“Exxon and Total are keen to get their next projects up and going. They are delaying because they want to get it right so that they can get the returns they need,” he said.
“They want to get the right support locally to support local industry. It is the same for the mineral projects.
“When those projects come online we will see capital flowing in.
“This will help support the kina. More capital provides investments and underlying demands. We think this will take the next two to three years to eventuate.”