PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today wrapped up a two-day trip to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where he met with top government officials and business leaders and visited two key ADB projects.
Yesterday, President Nakao met with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, PNG Treasurer and ADB Governor Don Polye, PNG Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Charles Abel, and other senior government officials and development partners to discuss the development outlook for PNG and ADB's activities in the country.
Since joining ADB in 1971, PNG has received 75 loans worth $1.5 billion, as well as one Asian Development Fund grant worth $15 million, and 148 technical assistance projects worth $62.8 million. PNG is ADB's largest partner in the Pacific in terms of loans for public and private sector development.
Earlier today, President Nakao addressed the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce where he stressed that PNG must be more than an exporter of raw materials and must embrace innovation and new technologies such as mobile telecommunications that will open up new business opportunities and can help deliver health, education and other social services more effectively.
"To achieve sustainable growth, PNG must become more inclusive, more integrated and more innovative," he said. "The government must use revenues effectively to restore and upgrade the national infrastructure network. It must ensure that different parts of the PNG economy are well connected and that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably."
He emphasized the importance of continued reforms of state-owned enterprises and improving transparency of resource revenue management. PNG also needs to work toward creating a financial system that supports small- and mid-sized firms, which have been a key source of innovation and job creation across the Asia and Pacific region.
During his visit, the President also visited the Rouna Power Station, which will be rehabilitated under ADB's recently signed Port Moresby Power Grid Development Project, and Jackson's Airport, one of the sites being upgraded under the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program.