The Australia New Zealand Bank (ANZ) has forecast a turnaround for Papua New Guinea’s economy starting in the latter half of 2022. The bank expects economic growth to pick up as due to business investment and upcoming resource projects.

The turnaround will initially be driven by several gas projects. The most notable of these is Papua LNG, which will go into Front End Engineering Design, or FEED, in the middle of the year. This will lay the groundwork for a much-anticipated construction boom predicted to start toward the end of 2023.

A report on research undertaken by the bank says, “We expect a very strong second half of the decade when Papua LNG and the gold/copper Wafi-Golpu mine come online.”

“Work on the upstream P’nyang fields commence, and investments in electrification, telecommunications and renewable energy projects ramp up.”

Looking at developments further ahead, the report said, “The PNG LNG debt will be repaid mid-decade, providing the state with increases in dividends and taxes to broaden the base of economic drivers late in the decade.

“In the interim, the economy will get a fillip from government expenditure and elevated national income, boosted by an uplift in commodity prices. Ongoing road works up and down the country will support activity; but overall, we expect another soft year, with business investment unlikely to rev up until 2023.

“Gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to increase by 2.1 per cent in 2022 before strengthening to 5.6 per cent next year and averaging about eight per cent per year through to the end of this decade.”