The National, Monday October 14th, 2013
COMMONWEALTH nations must recognise the role of the private sector in securing growth and development and the need to develop smarter partnerships with the private sector, Papua New Guinea Treasurer Don Polye says.
He was speaking at a Commonwealth finance ministers meeting in the United States of America capital of Washington DC.
Polye, pictured, who will chair the World Bank and International Monetary Fund next year, was making a presentation on
how to mitigate financial shortfalls for Commonwealth countries.
“Apart from World Bank/IMF funds, we should better foster our regional, multinational and bilateral relationships,” he said.
“We should now address our in-house issues like law and order, economic growth, political stability and high rates of inflation, among others.”
He said Papua New Guinea had taken the lead in embracing the partnership model. His presentation raised the country’s profile at the meeting.
Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal A Muhith, who chaired the meeting, recognised Papua New Guinea as an emerging economy in the Pacific.
He described Polye’s point as “valid” and took it on board for consideration.
Polye called on the Commonwealth Secretariat to design policy guidelines to ensure fragile economies had some protection against natural disasters given that PNG’s Northern province and the Cook Islands were hit by cyclones.
Muhith said the meeting was taking place at a time of significant financial and economic uncertainty, ongoing challenges in the Eurozone and with continued downside risks to the global recovery, posing several challenges for all 54 Commonwealth member nations.
“Insufficient increase in employment is a matter of grave concern,” he said.
“Our smallest, poorest and most vulnerable members are experiencing particular challenges in maintaining resilience.”