According to Puma Energy country manager Hulala Tokome, the company is feeling growing pressure due to the rise in global crude oil prices. The higher prices have led to an increase in foreign exchange requirements as Puma imports more supplies into Papua New Guinea.

Given that oil prices are likely to continue rising, Mr Tokome said his company would keep working with the Bank of Papua New Guinea and other commercial banks on the provision of foreign exchange.

Tokome praised the government’s assistance but noted that costs are still too high. He said, “Fuel prices have continued to increase even though the government’s relief continues to be in place. The excise and GST (goods and services tax) relief that the government has put in place is helping, but oil prices continue to be high.”

“These global elements are beyond ICCC’s (Independent Consumer Competition Commission) control,” he said. Adding, “We will continue to see higher prices. This has caused our forex requirements to also increase to bring in supplies into the country.”

Ed Weggemans, the managing director of South Pacific Brewery, said that foreign exchange was critical for companies and sectors that needed to pay overseas suppliers.

Weggemans said, “Foreign exchange is slow, and availability is not abundant but is enough for us to pay for our raw materials so we can continue to operate. We are able to get foreign exchange that we need to continue our operations, but the availability is slow, and we hope it can increase in the future.

“It is critical because if we cannot pay our suppliers, we cannot trade in Kina. It is not an international currency, so if we cannot pay our suppliers, they will stop supplying. And that’s a huge risk to our operations,” he explained.