PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) decision to adjust fiscal policy in 2016 is a realistic response to the fall in global commodity prices, however there must also be an efficient and effective execution of the budget to soften the impact of slower growth and to safeguard development achievements, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today.  

The PNG highlights in the latest December edition of ADB’s Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM) and an analysis of the PNG budget for 2016 were presented at an event hosted by ADB in Port Moresby. The 2015 Year in Review provided updates and showcased the achievements of ADB-financed operations in PNG.

The PEM focuses on 2015 fiscal outcomes and the 2016 budget plans of PNG and 13 other ADB member Pacific island countries. It notes that a fall in commodity prices and extreme weather challenges, including El Niño-induced droughts, have adversely affected economies and communities in the region.

ADB specialists at the event also discussed how ADB is partnering with the Government of Papua New Guinea to help transform resource wealth to improve infrastructure and service delivery.

“ADB remains focused on assisting the government with priority infrastructure investment. We are increasing our assistance in renewable energy, rural health and microfinance initiatives,” said Marcelo J. Minc, Country Director of ADB’s Papua New Guinea Resident Mission (PNRM).
 
ADB’s current assistance program in PNG is focused on transport infrastructure in the highlands region road network, maritime safety, and civil aviation. By improving customs and quarantine facilities along PNG’s border with Indonesia, ADB aims to promote regional cooperation and integration, while building more climate resilient roads is helping PNG adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

Together with the Government of Australia and other partners, ADB is helping PNG improve the quality and coverage of its health services, and boosting access to financial services in remote and rural areas through its Microfinance Expansion Project.

Details of ADB’s portfolio performance in 2015 were provided at the event including the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program, which is improving 21 national airports to provide safer, more secure and all-weather air transport services. The program includes extending runways, strengthening pavements, building airport fencing and parking bays for aircraft, purchasing state-of-the art fire trucks, and upgrading navigation and air traffic management systems. 

Disbursements from ADB's ongoing projects in PNG are expected to total $212 million in 2015.

ADB is a long-term development partner of PNG, first providing support to the country in 1973 before it gained independence, and remains one of PNG’s largest development partners to date.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.

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