Reopen domestic economy


LET’S reopen the domestic economy as PNG is on the verge of collapsing.
In the face of war against the Covid-19, our Government is facing the most costly and challenging battle ever just the same way as the developed world is floundering.
Amid this viral virus war, the top nations are now into competition to find the vaccine for the Covid-19.
As the world is raged into this sickening competition the global supply chain from oil to goods and services are on pause.
Zooming back into our local economy, it is a real time injury for both humanity and our economy.
PNG is an open market economy.
Every individual, household and business/organisation, from public to private, have that freedom to operate their economic activities.
Now that this virus has landed, a double-edged sword on the normal life pattern of our people and our economy, all activities came to shutdown and lockdown.
Our nation is badly affected on all platforms; socially, politically and economically.
Borrowing is now becoming the Government’s only option to help fund the war against this pandemic.
I now come to terms with what the country’s Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey’s statement on PNG’s 2020 Budget deficit.
The Covid-19 is pouring more burden and the deficit is tolling.
PNG is drowning, we need an immediate action to save our nation.
The immediate challenge is to reopen our local economy.
However, the Government should continue to restrict and monitor:

  • ALL international flights;
  • ALL international shipments; and,
  • BORDER security.

Let’s forget about the state of emergency and lockdown.
Why are we killing ourselves?
By this time, we should already have assessments to keep the local economy going. How many citizens have died? How many are in critical condition?
How quick is the virus spreading?
If you know your answer, then why are we killing ourselves?
I see the basic building blocks of our economy (SMEs) are wilting and dying, the informal sector that provides some support is losing energy.
The education for the younger generation is another issue, increase in unemployment, starvation and the list goes on and on.
Our gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by three per cent and the stock market decreased by seven per cent.
I feel melodramatic to say that our government’s debt toll is growing, how would we pay off those debts to recover.
I’m appealing to the government to reopen the domestic economy.
…continue to P33
…continue to P33

Let’s take this pandemic as normal sicknesses.
Whatever funds that we received or one receiving from financial institutions, bilateral/multilateral partners and NGOs, let’s utilise those funds to maintain those three areas of restrictions mentioned above.
Reinvest and subsidise our dying SMEs or business sector at large.
An alternative, analyse better strategies to subsidise our suffering citizens in a form of a charity to maintain social stability.
It’s not time to mingle politics with the Covid-19, end this internal conflict, time to mobilise for unity under all these paradox to push PNG not backward but forward.
PNG is drowning.
To swim out from this pool of the ugly coronavirus, reopen our domestic economy as soon as possible.
Let’s not panic and get traumatised about what is happening outside of PNG.
Our problem is to maintain restrictions on our point of entries.

David Kennedy

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