PER­SPEC­TIVES ON PNG

Busi­ness lead­ers pro­vide their own take on Pa­pua New Guinea’s econ­omy.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Contents -

'One re­ally in­ter­est­ing thing is the in­crease in trade flows be­tween PNG and Asia. The trade flow be­tween Sin­ga­pore and PNG, for ex­am­ple, has in­creased some­thing like 5000% over the last five years—at a much, much higher rate than be­tween PNG and Australia. Prob­a­bly our top fif­teen cus­tomers in PNG are now head­quar­tered out of Sin­ga­pore. So there’s been quite a move of PNG busi­nesses into Asia and vice versa.'

—Greg Paw­son, Gen­eral Manager Pa­cific Bank­ing, West­pac.

'You’ve three seg­ments to the re­tail, bank­ing mar­ket—high net worth, mid­dle mar­ket and the mass mar­ket. Where we see growth is in that mid­dle sec­tor, which is what we cover with our Pri­or­ity Bank­ing ser­vices. Typ­i­cally, you’re see­ing a lot of in­ter­est in home own­er­ship—one of clas­sic sym­bols of an emerg­ing mid­dle class. Ob­vi­ously, there still re­main chal­lenges here in terms of land ti­tle, but we’ve just re­vamped our own staff home own­er­ship scheme to try and pull it back into line with the re­al­i­ties of mod­ern Pa­pua New Guinea. Less than 20% of our staff own their own homes, and our staff would be your clas­sic emerg­ing mid­dle class in many re­spects. So, if that’s re­flec­tive of the wider econ­omy, therein lies the op­por­tu­nity. I think an emerg­ing mid­dle class is al­ways en­cour­ag­ing be­cause they de­mand things, in­clud­ing sta­bil­ity.'

—Mark Baker, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor—pa­pua New Guinea, ANZ

‘In­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture will have enor­mous benefits for ev­ery­one who does busi­ness in PNG. If we can have cost-ef­fi­cient telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, power and ports, it re­duces the cost of do­ing busi­ness, gives PNG the ca­pac­ity to in­crease its level of busi­ness ac­tiv­ity and pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for PNG to be­come more of a Pa­cific hub. If we get in­fra­struc­ture right, the op­por­tu­ni­ties are sig­nif­i­cant.'

—Robin Flem­ing, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Bank of South Pa­cific

‘All this talk about the prop­erty sec­tor fall­ing away is mis­lead­ing. It’s still sim­ply a case of lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion , lo­ca­tion. Com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in good lo­ca­tions with qual­ity ten­ants are still see­ing growth.' —An­drew Mcgrath, Nasfund, Gen­eral Manager Fi­nance & In­vest­ments ‘Some­thing I’ve al­ways been com­mit­ted to is the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of ex­pa­tri­ate roles. The com­mer­cial benefits in cost sav­ings to an or­gan­i­sa­tion can be sig­nif­i­cant but more im­por­tantly, we have PNG na­tion­als who are in key roles, man­age­ment po­si­tions, mak­ing key de­ci­sions for that busi­ness. There are some amaz­ing PNG na­tion­als living and work­ing here. The mums and dads of to­day have sac­ri­ficed and got their kids ed­u­cated, and to see them com­ing through now, that’s very en­cour­ag­ing.’

—An­drew Cooper, Coun­try Manager, Cardno (PNG) Ltd

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