The Minister said the report was candid in highlighting current concerns, but concluded that the medium-to-longer-term outlook for the economy is strong.
“Moody’s are always thorough in their analysis, and have noted the pressures we face, but also highlighting the positive overall outlook for the economy,” Minister Marape said.
“It is no secret that we are in a tough international economic environment at the moment, and we are not alone.
“At the African, Caribbean and Pacific Summit this week I spoke with many foreign leaders who were experiencing extremely tough conditions at the moment because of global economic pressures.
“These were mainly commodity producing countries that are facing massive budget deficits, the failure of Government service delivery and a blow-out in their national debts.
“In Papua New Guinea we are not experiencing these problems because we are managing the impact of the current global economic conditions.
“We have made our public service more efficient and we are managing expenditure.
“There might be a lot of critics who sit in an armchair or have political agendas, and it is time to stop listening to them and just read the facts.
“Take a look around the global economy and the critics can see for themselves how well Papua New Guinea is doing in the current global economic climate.
“The fact is that global economic conditions are not healthy with lower commodity prices and economic slowdowns in economies like China.
“Papua New Guinea is well placed to take advantage of increasing commodity prices.
“We are placed in an even stronger position after many of our commodity producers undertook reforms and restructuring to deal with current price pressures.
“This means they are now able to be much more competitive in a lower price environment.
“A good example of restructuring to increase competitiveness is the Ok Tedi operation.
“After the drought forced operations to halt, Ok Tedi management undertook a significant restructuring and now they are highly competitive in the market. They have reduced cost while maintaining high quality production output.”
The Minster said the Government of Papua New Guinea is always open to analysis and the review of economic data that he said ensures transparency and affords business better opportunity to plan.