Prime Minister James Marape has stated that despite there being no new resource projects coming online, Papua New Guinea has experienced growth. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said PNG’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise by 3.4% in 2022 and 4.6% in 2023.

Marape said the government was handling a debt to GDP ratio of K51billion. However, he added that this figure included K39 billion in obligations left over from the previous administration.

The prime minister said, “That’s how we are tracking our economy. I just want to encourage our people out there, not all is bad as it may seem.

“Without any new projects, while Porgera is coming on and others are coming on, we are still able to post a positive growth rate, however small it may be, but we are still posting significant growth over the last two to three years of managing our economy.

“We are rebounding at extraordinary times, hard times, Coronavirus-induced and now with the Russia-Ukraine war-induced hard times.

“In a K51 billion debt to GDP level in hard times and many nations globally also have a higher debt to GDP, but for us it’s manageable. We are on a fiscal consolidation pathway going forward.

“The way we are posting positive growth this year at 3.4 per cent, next year at 4.6 per cent as forecasted by ADB, its an indication to our country that we are managing our economy responsibly, making interventions at the flow of the economy, especially where people, the ordinary Papua New Guineans are facing hard times.”

According to ADB, PNG’s economy also rose in 2021, largely due to a 3.7% growth in forestry, fisheries, and agriculture. Additionally, the elimination of trade bottlenecks and increasing global commodity prices helped boost cocoa, coffee, and palm oil output.

As the worldwide economy returns to normal and mineral production rises, the ADB predicts Papua New Guinea’s economy will continue to rise steadily.