PAPUA New Guinea’s economic growth will slow down to 4.5% this year, a marked reduction from the 9.2% of last year and 11.1% of 2011, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
However, ADB vice-president Stephen Groff told The National on Tuesday that the bank remained confident in the future of PNG.
Groff said PNG’s growth over the past 10 years had been very positive.
“If you look back over the last decade, PNG has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the Pacific and in Asia,” he said.
“Last year, we had growth of 9.2%; the year before (2011) you had growth of 11.1%, that’s all been very, very positive.
“There is the maturing of the mineral and oil operations and scaling down of the LNG construction, which are the two main drivers of what we forecast to have a reduced levels of growth this year,” he said.
“We’re quite confident in the general medium-term outlook for the PNG economy.
“We think that the fundamentals are good.
“We think that PNG can grow, but it’s going to be a bit of a different situation for the country.”
Groff, however, said PNG had failed to turn its economic growth into benefits for all people.
“The challenge for PNG has been translating that growth into benefits for poor people and in real change to the lives of poor people in the country,” he said.
“Another word for that is inclusive growth, meaning growth that benefits all sectors of the community.
“Evidence of the growth not being as inclusive as it might have been is not on target to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
“That’s clear indication that the government and donor partners have not been able to sort out how best do you translate this economic growth into inclusive growth.”
The United Nations MDGs are eight goals that all 191 UN member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.
The MDGs are derived from this declaration and all have specific targets and indicators.