Westpac to help address forex issue

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday April 21st, 2016


WESTPAC  PNG chief executive officer Geoff Toone says despite the subdued condition of the national economy, the bank sees a bright and positive future.

Toone (pictured) said the bank was working with the Government to address the shortage of foreign currency in the country.

He said Westpac was working with the Bank of Papua New Guinea for a long-term solution to the current foreign currency shortage

“The currency has been complicated for a little while,” he said. 

“As you will be aware, we have been working with the central bank (BPNG) during that time so that over time we can see long-term solutions and we will continue to work towards that.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last week that the Government was resorting to short-term agreements to address the shortfall.

O’Neill said a Government delegation was in Washington holding talks with the International Finance Corporation and the Government was expecting some positive news in two weeks’ time.

Tone said the economic conditions for the country was little bit subdued than last year. 

“The economic view for us is we say things are little bit more subdued this year than they were in 2015,” he said.

He said business houses were working on their strategy in terms of where they were heading.

“They are a bit more cautious about making their decisions and expanding their business,” Toonesaid.

“For us (Westpac) we continue the strategy held for a number of years. We opened a new branch in Lae about eight to 10 weeks ago. 

“So we see real opportunity in Morobe province in the long term.

“We have increased our staff numbers this year so we see a bright, positive future.”