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Total’s commitment boosts PNG's economy

Staff Reporter 12/23/2015 | |
FRENCH energy giant-Total SA’s commitment to move forward with the next Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project is one of the best votes of confidence in Papua New Guinea;s economy.

This was from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill while reflecting on Christmas and the country’s shared successes.

Mr O’Neill said over the next five years, the project would see 10,000 Papua New Guineans being employed in the construction phase, new education and training programs and downstream benefits for thousands of small businesses.

He described the country’s economy as being the strongest since Independence.

"We have experienced 14 consecutive years of positive economic growth. But sadly, there are always scare mongers and other political opportunists who every day will try to talk-down our economy.

"These people are not acting in the national interest, they are undermining our economy simply for their own gain," he said.

The PM said irrespective of this seeming propaganda, that the facts speak for themselves.

"The foundations of our economy are sound and strong.

"In the coming year we are anticipating growth at around 10 per cent, which is the envy of so many countries facing global challenges.

"The national Government is taking a positive and proactive approach to reduced revenue inflows caused by lower commodity prices, together with the additional burden of climate change and drought," he said.

Mr O’Neill argued that the approach taken in the 2016 budget as being sensible and assured that it would continue to fund its core priorities of education, health law and justice, infrastructure for Papua New Guineans.

" We have sufficient foreign exchange coverage, government debt is within the set ceiling and is manageable, inflation is stable and there are positive long-term indicators in employment," he added.

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