‘Robust economy vital’

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PAPUA New Guinea is working on building and sustaining a robust economy, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Marape said this during his address of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday.
He told world leaders that economic management was a national priority and this involved building structures for re-engagement with PNG’s international partners and ensuring that the right enablers were put in place to build and sustain a healthy economy.
“It involves taking stock of our debt portfolios, re-prioritising our expenditures and focusing on important reforms in the utilities sector, infrastructure, education, health and the natural resources,” he said.
“It also involves taking a closer look at specific projects in the extractive industry and working with their proponents to see them come on stream.
“For the two years, the bulk of our effort was to ensure that we achieve a fine balance between adherence to all the Coronavirus (Covid-19) requirements, while at the same time, ensuring that the economy is open and functioning.”
Marape said his Government’s work in the transparent stock take of its debt portfolios had resulted in attracting strong support from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and had provided an important platform of support from Australia, Japan and other bilateral partners.
He also acknowledged the support of these partners in terms of managing the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marape said his Government continued to advocate for the use of natural resources.
He maintained that the development of these resources was to be done on the premise that all stakeholders had a shared interest in these developments within the principles of equity and equality.
Marape said a key area of focus was the investment in and development of infrastructure such as roads, bridges and ports to link the provinces throughout the country through the Connect PNG initiative and deliver important services to all citizens enhancing their socio-economic opportunities.
“This is the stimulus for economic transformation for our people,” he said.
“This is done as required by our Constitution and in alignment with the eight-point plan, PNG vision 2050, development strategic plan 2010-2030, medium-term plan III 2018-2022 and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development to better deliver socio-economic prosperity for the country and become a middle-income country by 2050.”