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PNG PM O’Neill hails Australian business link

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the country has an enduring relationship with Australian businesses and the Australian government worth more than US$3.8 billion (K12.3 billion) a year.

Addressing the Business Advantage PNG Investment Conference in Brisbane Monday, O’Neill said the relationship between Australia and PNG was one that was strengthening every year.

In a statement, he said: “Economic integration between our two countries continues to expand and mature.

“Even with the economic rise of our trading partners in the region, Australia remains our largest investor and largest trading partner.

“Two-way trade is now over US$3.8 billion each year.

“Our next largest trading partners, China and Japan, each account for over US$2 billion (K8 bil) in two-way trade each year.

“Trade and investment between PNG and Australia is based on many years of engagement, and similarities in our government-to-business approach. Business and government have to work together as partners if we are to achieve our economic objectives. For our part, the government is here to support the private sector to enhance investment and innovation, and to ensure sustainability.

“We have continued to reduce red tape, removed impediments to starting a new business, made it easier for more local inputs in several sectors to drive growth.

“Treasury (Department) is now forecasting positive GDP growth for the year. We continue to control our expenditure, and our debt levels are sustainable. Our country is living within our means. As an economy, we are continuing to restructure our debt mix to better balance between concessional borrowing and domestic bills that are typically expensive.


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