The Report: Papua New Guinea 2014
Oxford Business Group, Sep 4, 2014
Papua New Guinea is poised for change, as the country’s mineral riches are providing a major opportunity for economic development through the exploitation of natural resources. The government’s five-year strategic plan focuses on key development enablers such as free education, improvements to health services, the strengthening of law and order, rural development projects and infrastructure construction.
Inward investment has increasingly been driven by the extractive sector, including oil and gas, whose share of the country’s total investment stock rose from 71% to 87% between 2004 and 2012. Statistics from the Investment Promotion Authority reveal that the largest share of new foreign direct investment in 2013, some 24.6%, targeted the construction sector, outpacing that in financial services, manufacturing and mining, which accounted for 19.8%, 18.1% and 10.9%, respectively. While minerals and hydrocarbons dominate exports, around 85% of the country’s population is employed in the agriculture sector.
The start of liquefied natural gas exports in 2014 is expected to return the current account to a surplus in 2015, forecast as high as 12.1% of GDP before returning to 9.1% the following year. While the outlook for state revenues remains strong in the medium term, ensuring the sustainability of further spending increases will be key to preserving macroeconomic stability.
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