Healthcare. Papua New Guinea press review

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has six multi-million kina projects with a total value of PGK133 billion in the pipeline awaiting government approval to get them off the ground, says PNG Prime Minister Hon. James Marape.

They are:
Papua LNG – US$13 billion (PGK45 billion);
P’nyang – US$11.2 billion (PGK39.2 billion);
Frieda River – US$7 billion (PGK24.5 billion);
Wafi Golpu – US$5.2 billion (PGK18.2 billion);
Pasca – US$1.6 billion (PGK5.6 billion);
Woodlark US$120 million (PGK420 million).

Mr. Marape told Parliament recently that the Government was carefully considering all the projects in talks with project developers so that the landowners and the State get their «fair share». Three of the projects in the minerals sector are still being considered. They are Wafi Golpu (Morobe), Frieda (Sepik) and Woodlark (Milne Bay). [1]

The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has projected that the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020 will decline by around 4%, compared to the earlier growth forecast of 0.3% in March. BPNG Governor Loi Bakani said in its monetary policy statement released last week that the revision reflected the negative growth in the country’s major trading partners, the COVID-19 containment measures imposed by the Government, which impacted businesses and Government operations and supply chains, and temporary scale-down/shutdown of major mining operations. In the non-mineral sector, most sectors are expected to record lower growth. The transportation, construction, financial and insurance services, and accommodation (hotels) and food services sectors are the worst affected. [2]

There are also concerns in PNG business circles about the devaluation of Kina. Concerns are now being raised in the business space after the Business Council of PNG opted that the Central Bank should consider devaluing Kina to make investments attractive. Executive director Douveri Henao said this is because of the difficult and different time the country is in like the rest of the world and there is a need to make kina attractive for the country’s PNG exports. [3]

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey says the Government has identified funds in the economic stimulus package to assist the tourism industry due to COVID-19 pandemic. He did not reveal the amount but said tourism had been overlooked when budgets were put together. According to Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism Kennedy Wenge: «Agriculture is based on export and import while […] tourists bring money in and it remains in the country». [4]

One of the major PNG mining companies Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited (KMHL) announced the appointment of David Laulau as Registered Mine Manager for SML11 Porgera Mine. Chairman and Acting Managing Director Peter Graham noted that Barrick Niugini Limited will continue to have responsibility for the care and maintenance of equipment and infrastructure at the mine under the terms of the Mine Development Contract until such time as a way forward is determined. He said that efforts to negotiate a commercial agreement with Barrick on a without prejudice basis had recently commenced while Barrick continues to pursue various matters related to licensing in the courts of Papua New Guinea. [5]

However, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea has quashed a decision of the National Court which dismissed an application by Barrick Niugini Ltd for a discovery of documents. Thus, the court has now granted BNL access to documents which the State claimed to be confidential. It ordered the state to provide the documents within seven days. [6-7]

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