In brief: Papua New Guinea may face its largest budget deficit to date and other business stories


Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Treasury finds the national budget in a ‘much more fragile situation’, K12 billion in unbanked money circulating, and poor regulations may be affecting SMEs. Your weekly digest of business news.

PNG’s Minister for Treasury and Australian officials. Credit: LOOP PNG

Minister for Treasury Ian Ling-Stuckey has given an update on PNG’s budget and said his due diligence exposed ‘the budget mismanagement of recent years’. It’s been reported that Ling-Stuckey found the budget in a ‘much more fragile situation that earlier revealed’ and that he has met with Australian officials to discuss how the Australian government could support PNG.

The Minister also said he is planning to find a solution and to bring credibility to the budget. He will deliver a supplementary budget that ‘will set out early steps for ensuring PNG is living within its means.’ (LOOP PNG)


Each year more than K12 billion in unbanked money circulates in the informal economy, according to the National Informal Economy Audit Report for 2018, which was released recently. The report also revealed that over 80 per cent of the population is engaged in this sector.

The ‘informal sector is a sleeping giant in the economy where about 49,000 small to medium enterprises are involved in this sector and the MTD III Plan [Medium Term Development III Plan] talk about increasing SMEs to 300,000 and with the employment rate in this sector reaching 490,000 is massive,’ said the Deputy Secretary for National Planning, Michael Kumung. (Post-Courier)


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A new survey by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) identified PNG as a country lagging in regulations. During the results’ presentation at the 2019 Business Regulators Summit,  IFC’s Senior Operations Officer, Jonathan Kirby, suggested that poor regulations are ‘hurting small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in PNG’ but that there is ‘possibility for successful policy reforms.’

‘So put effective business regulations which are simple and easy to understand by the ordinary business people and the business community, there is no need for complex regulations.’ (Post-Courier)


The first National Coconut Festival, co-hosted by Kokonas Indastri Koporesen and the Department of National Planning, will take place from 26 to 28 September at the Sir John Guise Indoor Complex in Port Moresby. The festival will showcase coconut products, emerging technologies and SMEs. (Source: EMTV)

Coffee beans. Credit: James Kubina

Last week, the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) launched an online export system, and revised regulatory policy guidelines and green coffee standards that will come into effect in 2020. (Post-Courier)


The Foreign Minister of the Solomon Islands, Jeremiah Manele, will travel to China to formalise diplomatic ties between both countries. RNZ reports that Manele and Wang Yi, its Chinese counterpart, will sign a joint communique during the visit.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded K475,594 in conservation grants to the Papua New Guinea Centre for Locally Managed Areas (PNGCLMA) and Mahonia Na Dari Research and Conservation Centre (MND). (LOOP PNG)


PNG’s new opposition leader Belden Namah has said that he will pursue the supreme court application challenging James Marape’s election as prime minister. (RNZ)

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