In brief: MYEFO released, and other business news

Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook released, pursuing certification of tuna fishing, and polio certificates required for international travel. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

in briefThe Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Sir Charles Abel has released the mid-year economic forecast and fiscal outlook (MYEFO). It included the following: a real GDP growth rate of 1 per cent, adjusted from 2.4 per cent in the budget; a fiscal deficit of 2.4 per cent, down from 2.5 per cent; debt to GDP of 31.2 per cent, in line with budget estimates; inflation at 5.9 per cent, down from 6.9 per cent; and foreign reserves at US$2.2 billion expected by year end.

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The Government will pursue marine stewardship council (MSC) certification of its tuna fishery, according to the Fishing Industry Association Inc (FIA). The body, which represents the country’s fishing industry, reportedly says the fishery will encompass all tuna caught in the exclusive economic zone and processed in the country.

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Those in PNG applying for a visa to Australia may now be required to provide a polio vaccination certificate as part of their application. The Australian Department of Home Affairs said special processing arrangements were put in place after PNG was listed as an “outbreak country” by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in June. A fourth polio case was confirmed on Tuesday in the Eastern Highlands, according to Radio New Zealand.

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The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a partnership agreement with SP Brewery for an innovative project to grow cassava and convert it to starch. This will be used initially as a partial substitute for imported barley in beer production. The project aims to create a new industry and boost farmers’ incomes.

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As part of an Indo-Pacific initiative, the US Embassy in Port Moresby has reportedly described its new partnership agreement with the US department of commerce in Australia as a ‘bridge’ to exporting to the US.

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PNG has strengthened the relationship with its southern neighbour, Queensland,  with the Australian state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

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Air Niugini Cargo Limited, has announced the beginning of a new partnership with Hevilift Limited following the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding for exclusive marketing and use of Hevilift’s converted ATR-42 freighter aircraft. ANGCL general manager Gus Kraus said the agreement has been in the making for several months.

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Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investment William Duma with DataCo managing director Paul Komboi. Credit: Lypenson Soweni, The National

The Exim Bank of China will finance the construction of the K661 million (US$200 million) PNG Kumul domestic submarine cable project, the  Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investment William Duma reportedly said. He said this was being done in preparation for the Coral Sea submarine cable from Australia, in order to distribute increased internet capacity nationwide.

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PNG is learning much from other APEC economies on how to respond quickly to natural disasters. National Disaster Office director Martin Mose said after the 14th emergency preparedness working group APEC meeting in Port Moresby on Saturday that PNG could adopt lessons from these economies and tailor them to suit the country’s setting.

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The Mineral Resources Authority is staging its fourth annual alluvial mining convention and trade show on August 14-15 at the Lae International Hotel. Alluvial miners number more than 100,000, collectively contributing K300 million to the national economy in 2017.

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Tambul-Nebilyer MP and vice minister for Treasury Win Bakri Daki has presented a cheque of K250,000 to the Department of Works to construct a three kilometre road extension from Mt Kuta to Kunia in Western Highlands Province.

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Food security experts have reportedly declared the rates of malnutrition among children in PNG to be ‘an emergency’ as mothers shun traditional vegetables in favour of less nutritious Western foods. The predicament is being addressed at the Crawford Fund’s annual conference in Canberra which includes a presentation linking the majority of early childhood deaths in PNG to a major shift in the national diet.

Photograph of the week

A New York-based analytics company says it is working to help several Pacific countries switch to renewable energy sources.

 

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