Genia is Bank of PNG’s new acting governor

Elizabeth Genia

The Government of PNG has appointed Elizabeth Genia as new acting Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said Genia has nearly four decades of experience working in PNG’s Central Bank and is currently head of Corporate Services.

 Ling-Stuckey said this provides her with the expertise to help guide the corporate culture changes that are such an essential part of the Government’s reform programme of modernising our central bank.

“She is a very impressive candidate with a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Queensland in 2005, further training at Oxford in 2020 on Financial Technology and Innovation, a Bachelor of Commerce at UPNG in 1995, a Board member of the Business Coalition for Women from 2019 to 2021, experience with Australia’s Reserve Bank, and experience at BPNG of nearly 40 years with her starting in May 1983,” he said.

He said he would like to thank the former Acting Governor Benny Popoitai for his service to the country in agreeing to step up and take on the Acting Governor role following the unanimous passing in Parliament of reforms to the Central Banking Act, but Popoitai has reached his formal retirement age of 65 this month.

“PNG’s Central Bank is a key institution. I have been a long-standing supporter of Sir Mekere Morauta reform’s of 1999 in introducing a more independent central bank.

Twenty years on, it was time to have an Independent Advisory Group to provide advice on how best to modernise BPNG (the same process used by Sir Mekere back in 1999).

“The Marape-Rosso government has set out a modernisation agenda for the central bank.

Frankly, the bank had lost its way with policies starting in 2014 that saw the ending of the free convertibility of Kina to other currencies, leading to massive foreign exchange shortages that are seen as the greatest barrier to growth by PNG business CEOs,” Ling-Stuckey said.

“We now have the foreign exchange assets to start releasing much more foreign exchange to the market to deal with some of these constraints.

PNG has some of the highest differences between savings interest rates and borrowing interest rates.

“This simply is not fair or good for our country’s SMEs.

“Financial sector stability is crucial, although policies must also encourage financial sector development.

We have had the embarrassment of government cheques bouncing which damages our businesses and doing government business. We need to fix our payment systems. I am confident that our new Acting Governor will be able to work to address these fundamental issues facing PNG.”