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Undermining investor confidence

A survey of businesses in Papua New Guinea published last month paints a damning picture of the state of the country’s governance both in terms of corruption and spiraling law and order problems. The country’s economy has experienced blitzing growth rates for more than a decade when compared to its other Pacific island sister nations. Its natural resources have been in great demand because of the runaway growth rates of the economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil, among others.

Exploration and the mining of minerals and hydrocarbons both on and offshore have brought big ticket investments into the country like never before in history. In fact, PNG has been the holy grail of investors around the region, particularly from China, Australia and the oil and mineral giants from all over the world. Mega investments are accompanied by a surge in infrastructure growth, which is supposed to further lead to a spurt in jobs and in raising the general standard of living of the common folk of any country.

Sadly though, this has not been the case in PNG. The country’s successive administrations have failed to trickle the benefits of this fiery growth in the economy down the social and economic pecking order. Neither has it done anything substantial in terms of building human capacity to keep more of its own meaningfully employed or equipped them with a system to upgrade their skills to go up the wage ladder. paperhelp org coupon

Worse, as the survey unsurprisingly indicates, governments have miserably failed to rein in corruption, looking the other way when its own carve out avenues to amass wealth by dubious means and salt it away in overseas haven. It is common knowledge that is discussed openly in PNG that a large number of elected representatives and senior officials in successive governments have amassed so much wealth, that a lot of it has left the country, well invested in prime real estate on the sunnier coasts of Australia.

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We Say is compiled and edited by Laisa Taga.

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