Businesses in PNG hopeful Porgera reopening will boost economy

 THE business community in Papua New Guinea is optimistic about the long-awaited reopening of the Porgera mine to boost the economy, according to the Brian Bell Group chairman Ian Clough.

Clough said the reopening of the Porgera gold mine and the starting of Wafi-Golpu and the Papua

LNG were “good news for the economy”.

“We need to resolve whatever issues are holding these projects back so that we can see them all delivering the many benefits to PNG that we expect them to, over the decades ahead,” he said.

“In my view, the country is facing a number of challenges

with economic headwinds unlike those seen in the previous 48 years.

“The delays in resource projects, the lack of international confidence by foreign investors, the serious issues of trying to do business when you rely on foreign currency to do so with a softening currency value, as well as the decline in services are all resulting in businesses having to make difficult decisions or make shifts in investment to areas that simply maintain business, rather than invest in growth projects.”

Clough said it was not good in the long term for the economy.

“We need to see strong plans put in place that resolve the long-standing issues, with reliable services like power and water, fixing the infrastructure to allow efficient movement around the country,” he said.

At the same time, he said issues such as law and order, education, health services should be fixed “so that confidence can return to the economy and attract more investment”.

“We should be working together to help businesses grow by improving productivity and taking away activities or processes that are slowing things down.”

Meanwhile, State Negotiating Team chairman Dairi Vele said yesterday when asked about the progress of the Porgera mine reopening that the Prime Minister James Marape “will put out a statement shortly”.

Marape had earlier stated that the mine would be reopened on Saturday, Sept 16.

The National / Pacific Business News

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