Is the 100 Days – 25 Point Plan Practical and Achievable ?

By Francis Hualupmomi

It appears that the government has admitted that there has to be a macroeconomic discipline in rescuing the current economic situation. And it has put forward a 100-Days 25-Point Plan economic rescue package for the country based on the Alotau Accord II. But is this package realistic and achievable? Therefore, this article seeks to respond to this question.
The Current Economic Situation

Source: ADB 2017 Outlook

According to the Asian Development Bank Economic Outlook (2017), the PNG economy has slowed down to 2.0 percent compared to the last four years (see the figure above). But it is predicted to pick up again at 2.5 percent by 2017 driven by mining and agriculture. The slowdown in the economy has been attributed to low commodity prices. This has increased inflation and unemployment, decreased foreign reserves, and affected the national budget.

Macroeconomic Landscape
It appears that the economic approach undertaken by the government over the last four has been one of an Expansionary. At the fiscal policy level, it has been driving the economy with high spending and borrowing at the backdrop of a decade long economic growth. The rationale is simple – utilise the surplus to expand the economy through infrastructure development which will, in turn, stimulate the economy. As a result of this approach, the economy has experienced an infrastructure boom in the economy as has been so far.
At the monetary level, it has been responding to the fiscal policy to ensure that the economy remains stabilised. It is important to note that in a country like PNG, monetary policy approach responds to fiscal policy to ensure stability. In so doing, it controls exchange rate and interest rates which tend to influence inflationary (inflation) behaviour.
Unfortunately, this macroeconomic policy has been affected by an unfavourable condition. There are two related factors, apart from others, that affect this behaviour. First, is that our commodities have been hit hard by low prices in the global market, which we have no control over. As a result of this price fluctuation, the revenue sources have been affected to sustain the fiscal capacity (budget). Because PNG is a resource-dependent economy that relies heavily on mineral and petroleum sectors, a price fluctuation in the global market will directly affect the economy in terms of growth and development. That is one of the reasons why the budget has been cut in certain social and economic sectors.
The second factor is that while the expansionary approach has been good it has not been managed at a sustainable level. What it means is that as the commodity prices slowly began to pick up again there has been a steady increase in the spending and borrowing. The reason is that there is an expectation that price will pick up again as in normal business cycle and sustain the expansionary approach. The downside of it is that it is quite difficult to predict the price fluctuation due to the complex interaction of market forces. As a result of this fiscal behaviour, the budget spending and borrowing has increased the deficit. However, the budget deficit can be improved and incrementally restored to normalcy through a sustainable macroeconomic policy package. Therefore, the next part will discuss this.

The Viability of the New Macroeconomic Rescue Package
The new Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon Charles Able, has realised the downside of the expansionary macroeconomic approach. And he has proposed a 100-Days economic package to rescue the economy from further sinking. In essence, this is a 25-Point Plan which has been widely consulted with the private sector and led by some of the senior ministers and economic advisors. While this package may seem unrealistic to some critical commentators, in my view, it is a workable and achievable one.
The 100-Days 25-Point Plan intervention is based on these key strategic economic priority areas:

• Maintain Fiscal Discipline and Boost Foreign Exchange; Growing Our Revenues;
• Strengthening Our Economic Base;
• Improving Our Governance Record, and;
• Acting Strategically
First, maintaining fiscal discipline and boost foreign through the growing of revenues. Given the issue of the fiscal problem, practically maintaining a fiscal discipline in a prudent manner will help boost the foreign exchange in many ways. That means controlling and spending behaviour as compared to previous years. And this must be balanced with growing revenues through multiple sources. Incoming revenues must be prudently managed in a sustainable way. What is collected should be spent on strategic priority areas that can bring in higher returns.
In addition, the tax cut will be a balanced strategy. This is because no new taxes will be imposed on ordinary people despite declining revenues. However, this can be recovered through those who avoid or and evade tax. The country has been missing out on the billion dollar extractive industries through tax. For instance, a lot of companies in the mining, petroleum and logging industries have been avoiding or exempted from tax. As result of this, billions of Kina have been going out of the country. These lost revenues could be recovered and help support the budget.
Secondly, strengthening of the economic base is an innovative plan to invest in economic areas that have been ignored. This implies that the economic base must be diversified to boost the economy by way of revenues sources and invested in a lot of baskets to cushion economic surprises. Apparently, the focus on agriculture is pragmatic going forward. It has been a neglected billion dollar sector. Therefore, it is hoped that this will incrementally support and sustain the budget. 
Moreover, while the plan sounds practical, the governance aspect of it is fundamentally critical. The government has been widely criticised by the public for governance issues. And this approach is a noble plan to improve its credibility and international standing. In so doing, it will help its approach in prudently governing and managing the economy. Because investor confidence attracts investment and helps build the economy. Political governance is the strategic driver of economic growth and development at this time and in the long run.
Finally, these plans must be pursued in a strategic way. Every decision requires calculated available options to maximise optimal outcome. The government has chosen the best strategy therefore, it is Directionally Correct.

In conclusion, the economy has been affected due to the changing economic conditions and governing approach. And this has been evident in the current economic situation the country is facing. But this can be arrested through a sustainable macroeconomic approach. Therefore, the 100-days 25-point plan package is a practical one and needs to be incrementally governed and managed in a strategic way.

Francis Hualupmomi is a PhD Student in Public Policy in the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. He is a Political Scientist in the area of political economy of energy security, geopolitics of resources, international security, and strategic policy. Views expressed here are his own. 


New Fiber will drop Internet Costs

By: Jonny Andrews
Papua New Guinea felt the pinch of congestion when Telikom Fiber in Madang went down again for the 2nd time in just many months on Saturday.
The PPC-1 link from Madang to Guam has 10Gbps capacity however, that link has been impossible to get to from Port Moresby.
From Tiare gateway, you would be routed on a microwave link to Mt Hagen, from Mt Hagen you will then go down to Lae and from Lae to Madang. That HCP Microwave link in itself has shown signs of being unreliable and that put furthur stress on existing Fiber link APNG2.
Since the break in PPC-1 Fiber in Madang, all international traffic are routed to APNG2. This has caused congestion and slow internet everywhere on Telikom Network.
Just before the break, DataCO and Telikom announced a new working relationship. This relationship is being investigated by ICCC.
One wonders why DataCO have for so long shied away from putting in a New Fiber Optic between Port Moresby and Australia. This would have solved the bottle-neck issue for Papua New Guinea and will significantly drop internet costs for users.
Acquiring of the New Fiber Optic Cable is no longer a must…it is now a NEED and all efforts must be made to make this possible.
New Fiber Optic Cables pursued for PNG
Post-Courier – Thursday, June 8, 2017
PNG Data Co is now firming up on one of its two options to connect PNG to the world using a new submarine cable to be built.
Managing director Paul Komboi said that the government has now reviewed previously preferred options including ICN-2 and have now tasked DataCo to provide two options that will be able to connect PNG from Port Moresby to Australia.
Mr Komboi said they are now pursuing a new cable option from Port Moresby down to Sydney, Australia.
“We currently do have an optical fibre submarine connection called the “APNG-2” submarine cable from Port Moresby to Sydney, but it’s very limited in capacity, expensive and very unreliable so that’s the problem and we need to fix that problem.”
“Our APNG-2 Submarine cable down to Sydney will reach its end of life very soon I think another two years or so is left for its operation and service. We need to replace this APNG-2 submarine cable before the cable stops operating. I think basically, it’s a requirement for PNG to have a new optical fibre submarine cable with modernized and futuristic technology and capability given the dynamic nature of the ICT sector and industry.
“It’s a necessity now for the country to have a cable connecting us to the the worldwide information network to allow for accessibility to information, markets and knowledge. Reliable, a lot of capacity; that is what we need,” he said.
By building this new optical fibre submarine cable, we will introduce modernized communication technology, which will enable us to lower the pricing of data services, provide super high capacity and speed, as well as proven reliability and better service quality to meet the country’s current and future demand.”
He added that it is an important infrastructure like electicity and water, and the government’s plans and decision to invest in this high-capital modernized infrastructure is not being ambitious but rather necessary”.
“It is a necessity for the government to invest in such infrastructure and so, all we need to do now is manage them effectively and efficiently for the benefit of our people and the whole latest restructure e is about better managing those high-cpatial modernized infrastructure assets of the state and people..
“We have firmed up on one of our options. We are going into details discussions, negotiations and plans now such as the arrangements for who will be the actual vendor to supply and install the cable and also firming up on pre-sales of the capacity on who will be using the new fibre optic submarine cable. We are expecting by mid-June to end of June to be able to make some joint announcements with our partners to be able to launch this project officially,” he said.
Mr Komboi affirms that there’s also been positive response from Australia to assist them with the lending arrangements, adding that the appetite to have a new optical fibre submarine cable between Port Moresby and Sydney is there but they are looking at who they should partner with and under what structure and terms.
“There are some things we are still discussing and negotiating at the moment at the background, and we are not yet at the liberty to share unless every party has agreed to the terms and conditions.
We are yet to give a name to this new project and will announce it once all the requirements are met and parties are in principle satisfied,” he said.

Merger of Telikom PNG, PNG DataCo and bmobile may lead to lower costs, say analysts

11 Apr 2017 
by Kevin McQuillan 

IT analysts and industry insiders tell Business Advantage PNG that the Papua New Guinea Government’s decision to merge bmobile and PNG DataCo under a Telikom PNG renamed Kumul Telikom is likely to increase competition and innovation. But the move will not be without challenges.
The merger of bmobile and DataCo with Telikom PNG, outlined in our interview with Kumul Telikom Chairman Mahesh Patel last week, will realise cost savings and harness the synergies among the three telcos, according to Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Charles Abel.
Local industry insiders appear generally optimistic about the move, with some caveats.

Independent, Port Moresby-based IT specialist Russell Woruba, of Taragai Advisory, believes the restructure will reduce prices, and observes telcos now need to provide attractive bundled services in order to be competitive.

Carriers must offer enterprises and customers not only voice and data, but media content, ICT services, such as cloud options, as well as professional services, he tells Business Advantage PNG.

He notes, however, that to modernise Telikom to meet the current technological climate it may be necessary to involve outside partners who have the skill set and capital.

He also observes that Digicel PNG not only has market share but undisputed market power.

‘It is now digging into Telikom’s core fixed business through its service offerings.

‘By consolidating its assets, Telikom, DataCo and bmobile can compete effectively and create synergies for operational efficiency.’
Masalai Communications’ IT specialist, Emmanuel Narokobi, sounds a note of caution about the restructure.

‘There is a huge cultural shift that needs to take place internally within all the organisations,’ he told Business Advantage PNG.

‘Personally, from our work with them we have tried to push shared services across the various companies but they still do not recognise the strategic benefits of such exercises.’

Reduced duplication

The merger is supported by a recent report issued by Singapore-based BMI Research, a subsidiary of the global ratings agency Fitch.

‘The transferring of the country’s main fixed-line and gateway assets into one entity, DataCo—which will provide backbone services and international connectivity to operators—will be positive for the market,’ says to the report’s author, Telecommunications Analyst Vanessa d’Alancon.

After DataCo’s plans to upgrade and run the National Transmission Network are completed, expected this year, she says internet service providers (ISPs) and businesses in Papua New Guinea will have access to wholesale capacity.

This will provide a boost to bandwidth and encourage market competition. That competition, she says, should reduce prices over the medium-term for consumers.

More competition for Digicel?

‘Telikom has already begun rolling out 4G at discounted rates in 2017 to encourage take-up and will be in a stronger position to compete with Digicel,’ says d’Alancon.

She warns, however, that it will be difficult for Telikom to take market share from Digicel given that operator’s strong presence in the mobile market. Digicel has been successful in the market since 2007 and has brought mobile penetration in PNG from 1.6 per cent in 2006 to around 45.5 per cent in 2016.

That said, there are still many areas where internet services are unavailable and most rural areas only have 2G services, providing significant growth opportunities.

Digicel’s view

Digicel’s CEO, Brett Goschen, told Business Advantage PNG that Digicel fully supports an environment where all operators have access to all forms of wholesale transmission capacity.
‘We believe it is fundamental to growing and improving a competitive, open market: prices decrease, service offerings increase and the consumer benefits tremendously.

‘It is clear that the Government’s original communication model involving the transfer of transmission assets to DataCo would go some way toward achieving that.’

That said, Goschen says, however, he is not convinced the new structure will achieve the original intentions of government, namely ‘to create a competitive, open communication industry that augurs growth and value, whilst encouraging innovation’. From the limited public information provided, he noted the new merger does not appear to promote competitive outcomes to the benefit of the consumer, such as reducing the cost of accessibility.

Kumul Telikom Holdings – Right Stepping stone for Papua New Guinea

By: Jonny Andrews

Telecommunications is the ‘Heart-beat’ of every thriving economy!

How does one disrupt and conquer a nation? They simply break down the communication between all important Government utilities and department. Put them into a state of confusion and slowly conquer and take control.

Sound familiar???

The advised Papua New Guinea has been getting in the past of ensuring competition and to separate the Telecommunication entity has been flawed! It has resulted in the State communications entity competing against itself and ensuring that the real competitor succeeds!

The birth of Kumul Telikom Holdings is the realization that we have lost the plot and the need to get back on track is imminent! Kumul Telikom Holdings is the ‘Stepping Stone’ on improving the Telecommunication system in the country. 

It provides for a SINGLE Board that ensures the DataCo, BMobile and Telikom Management works effectively, do no compete against each other and provides a roadmap that actually provides greater benefit to the country.

Well done PNG Government!


Consolidation of SOEs right move: Barker

March 6, 2017The NationalMain Stories

 Article Views: 169

The recent consolidation of telecommunication State-owned enterprises under Kumul Telikom Holdings “is the right way forward”, according to Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker.

Barker, pictured, told The National that this arrangement would be ideal if complemented with effective management that resulted in enhanced competition in the sector for the benefit of businesses and rural areas.

“Consolidation of the domestic network and linking the key gaps, notably the Northern network with the Hides-Port Moresby link, while rationalising the multitude of State-owned entities, is the right way forward, so long as the best professional board and capable, innovative but prudent management is in place,” he said.

“Operations also be accountable and transparent.

“Real rather than superficial competition is needed, but it’s not logical for that competition to be between ill-resourced State-owned entities but between a stronger, single telecommunications State-owned entity and the other players.

“Consideration of selling off or part sale of the State-owned entity may be considered to increase capitalisation and capacity but the State retains an important role in this space as regulator, encouraging and requiring competition, and ensuring priority services reach the wider communities of PNG, as well as enabling businesses across the country to function, including in rural areas.”

Barker highlighted the need to upgrade Government-owned telecommunication infrastructure with possible adjustments to increase bandwidth from submarine cables.

Wednesday February 22, 2017 –Minister for National Planning, and Acting Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments   Hon. Charles Abel today called a media conference to clarify the Government’s main policy priorities through the Kumul Consolidation Agenda.

Minister Abel stated:

* At the outset, our focus should be on ensuring that all relevant boards and MDs/CEOs of the SOEs are in place and addressing all operational issues;

* The government’s overarching objective is to progress the social and economic well-being of the citizens of Papua New Guinea;

* This includes promoting an efficient enabling environment (policies, regulations and legislations) for private sector as the primary generator of wealth and job creation to flourish;

* Government generally only intervenes in the private sector as an active participant when private capital or entities will not and the particular service is vital or strategic;

* The Kumul Consolidation Agenda is intended to improve synergy, coordination and efficiency to the National Government’s participation in commercial activities;

* This includes the aggregating of related Government companies in different sectors such as Telecommunication, energy, agriculture, etc;

* The Department of Public Enterprises is to provide policy development and oversight in concert with the Minister and Cabinet. It is not to get involved in project development. Any such projects are to be handed over to the relevant subsidiary companies or ceased;

* KCH is to oversee the implementation of government policy through the respective subsidiary companies including the most appropriate corporate structuring in relation to the non-mining & petroleum related majority owned government companies;

* This government policy includes capital structuring to involve private capital and management as much as possible;

* KCH should cease developing numerous business projects and only get involved in project development for large scale strategic capital projects on behalf of the sector specific subsidiaries;

* All government companies should generate an adequate return of capital; and

* All government companies should be restructured in order to free up resources and introduce efficiency into the economy unless there is a particular strategic interest or private capital cannot be attracted.

In closing Minister Abel said that KCH needs to regroup and refocus on the job ahead and he was confident that it has a solid foundation of sound corporate governance that would expose and address weaknesses, and identify opportunities if and when they arose.

“I have assumed the role of caretaker Minister of this important Ministry with only two months before the National Elections.”

“In that short period of time I intend to create focus and clarity, and highlight the synergy between National Planning and the three entities – Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Minerals and Kumul Petroleum.”


By: Andrew Arthur

The Agriculture Sector is about to get a Major Shakeup!

As the campaigning of forming the next Government heats up. Each Political party would want to be seen as the Government for the people and wants to connect to the people. Major policy pushed would be a returned to the Agriculture Sector …

First to fire their Policy is Pangu Party with a funding of K2billion promised for Agriculture! K1 billion to be spent on Coffee and Cocoa as they believe would earn more. The other K1 billion is to be spread across other agriculture sectors.

The reality is…according to FAO, coffee is listed number 22 of the most important and high earning crop and cocoa is not listed in the top 52 at all!

Hydroponic solves food security issues

Pangu would be guilty of making the same mistake they did in the early 1980’s………..

What this country needs is to invest into the right product…..look at the list attached, pick the Top 30 and invest into that according to priority.

Food Security is what is Needed the Most! Invest into Food Security as oppose to investing into Coffee and Cocoa!

1. Rice
2. Cattle Farming
3. Poultry Farming
4. Piggery
5. Tomatoes, beans, onions etc…

This is where the people in Papua New Guinea want us to invest in….this is what put food on the table

Invest in Food Security!

Pangu Pati will invest into AGRICULTURE when in Government.

Today PNG’s Economy depends on 80% Non-renewal resources & 20% Agriculture export earnings, it was the other way around when we took independence in 1975.

Pangu Pati plans to invest at least K2b into agriculture with a billion directory into Coffee & Cocoa expansion and extension programs.

Coffee to become MINISTRY of COFFEE while cocoa to be the same as both are currently earning K500m into our economy from export earnings.

The investment into the two leading cash crops will see a 15 to 20 years timeline to increase production to earn over K2b plus into our economy.

Expansion and extension programs will see an annual investment K200m each into coffee and cocoa programs.

Agricuiture Ministry will be the leading ministry once again under Pangu Pati with coffee and cocoa to independently branch out into ministries of their own.

The rural population and business groups will participate more into agricuiture to feed PNG the world.
Agricuiture is sustainable and safe investment that PNG must quickly invest into to reduce our reliance on non-renewals.
The National Pg 7 07/02/17

Most valuable crops and livestock according to FAO
Pangu wants to invest in Coffee and Cocoa with K1 billion

Pacific Connectivity a Priority


If you’re old enough to remember business communications via telex, then you’ll understand just how important connectivity is to modern trade and the resulting economic development which in turn brings about significant improvements in health care, education and raises the general standard of living.vsat

It was the 1980s in PNG and I remember the arrival of our shiny new fax machine. It revolutionized the way we communicated. We could draw pictures to illustrate problems and instantly send these to the head office in Australia or the USA. We could place orders for supplies without standing in front of the telex, slowly typing messages that came out on delicate paper punch tape before being run through the machine again and hopefully not breaking mid stream. The fax machine improved our productivity and resulted in measurable improvements in our bottom line.

Fast forward almost 30 years, could you imagine running your business today without email, prevented from marketing your products on social media or not being able to look up manuals and parts catalogs. How could make it through lunch without knowing who was trying to contact you or who had written a review about your latest and greatest product or service, booking your return taxi ride to the office and all from the palm of your hand on your 3G or 4G smart phone. If all of a sudden you couldn’t do these things, your business would grind to a halt wouldn’t it? Well this is the every day experience that many hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Pacific face each and every day and in 2015 no less.

In Port Moresby, Honiara, Port Vila, Suva, Funafuti, Tarawa, Pago Pago and many more Pacific Island cities there’s a mobile communications revolution underway. If you’ve traveled through the islands recently you’ll agree that there’s an undeniable communications revolution underway. Some of the luckiest cities have undersea fiber cables, some have new ultra fast MEO satcom links. However you don’t have to venture too far from town to discover old G.703 E1 microwave links, connecting 2G phone sites. 2G banking and other text based apps are incredibly popular. These old networks will, or are already being crushed by the demand for data throughout the Pacific and not just in the most populace towns and cities but regional areas too. Data and communications demands will increase at an exponential rate in the coming years.

It’s a little old, November 2012 in fact, but I encourage you to take a look at the Lowy Institute for International Policy’s report titled; “Digital Islands: How the Pacific’s ICT Revolution is Transforming the Region”. It can be found here; I find it an extremely interesting read. Just one of the many profound quotes; “What makes the ICT revolution in the Pacific particularly transformative is its potential to address the region’s demographic, geographic and economic challenges”. 

I share the hopes and dreams of the Pacific Islands political and business leadership, that the digital mobile broadband revolution will soon enrich the lives of the Pacific people. Connectivity will bring about political, social, educational, health care and economic reforms that were only dreamt about in recent times.

I’ve recently written of my amazement at the technical and business achievements of O3B. A satellite based fiber replacement in the sky, which has either delayed or negated the need for Pacific Island nations to use their sovereign wealth funds to invest in expensive under sea fiber cables. This MEO system has its place, its pros and its cons. However another transformative technology is on the near horizon for the Pacific, one that will help bridge the digital divide.

Like the long overdue, High Throughput (HTS) Ka Band satellites now being constructed and soon to be launch by Australia’s National Broadband Network Co. a new provider will soon be over head providing the same NBN like speeds and service to the Pacific. Kacific will bring the next wave of affordable broadband to homes, villages and businesses throughout the Pacific Islands. In addition large parts of under served regional and remote parts of Asia, like Indonesia’s far flung Islands, which are not so different from the South Pacific Islands, these will also benefit from Kacific’s new satellite. Not to mention parts of NZ which will also soon have an ultra fast and affordable Ka Band HTS satellite service via Kacific.

With powerful and focused Ka Band spot beams across the vast distance of the Pacific Ocean, Kacific will deliver broadband speeds at never before seen pricing, in places you would never have suspected and all by using quite inexpensive end user terminal equipment. The company’s web site says that the potential market for their new satellite is in excess of 40 million people. A market they’ll clearly lead and dominate in the very near future given their innovative approach to the problem and regional uniqueness.

It’s worth taking a look at their web site;

Just look at the success of companies like Digicell who are investing in the Pacific’s digital future and reaping the financial rewards for doing so. When Kacific eventually lists I’d say take a punt, this is something that will not only make business sense for your investment portfolio, but you’ll be helping the people of the Pacific Islands into a new digital future of health, economic freedom, global participation and happiness.

Call to Invest in Infrastructure, Industries and Technology to grow the Economy

The greatest investment experts in America have all rallied behind U.S President elect Donald Trump…….their advise is he can make American great again…..and that is to invest more in Infrastructure, Industries and Technology…..

What is Papua New Guinea waiting for? This advise is FREE!


President Trump, You Can Make America’s Economy Great Again. Here’s How

By: Richard Duncan

I have just uploaded a Macro Watch video in the form of a presentation to President-elect Trump. I believe it is the most important video I have ever made. Here’s how it begins:


President Trump,

You CAN make America’s economy great again. Here’s how:

INVEST, Mr. President – not only in infrastructure but also in the industries and technologies of the future.

You have been elected President at a unique moment in history that gives the government of the United States the ability to borrow and invest in the US economy on a scale not only large enough to rebuild America’s infrastructure, but large enough to also induce a new technologic revolution that would restructure the entire economy and make it great again, greater than ever!

If you grasp this opportunity, the United States will have unassailable supremacy in the industries of the future; you will lock in another American Century; and you will improve the well being of every American – and the well being of every person on this planet.

However, you have also been elected at a time when the global economy is in grave danger of collapsing into a depression, one from which it might not recover for decades – if ever. One misstep on your part and instead of making the economy great again, you will make the Great Depression again.

Here’s what you need to know and to act on to succeed.

The global economy is an enormous economic bubble that has been inflated by Credit. If the Credit contracts, the bubble will pop and the New Great Depression will begin. If interest rates go up significantly, the bubble will pop and the New Great Depression will begin. One wrong move on your part and the economy will spiral out of control into a depression. It won’t be short and sharp like 1921. It will be long and devastating like 1929 to 1945. That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news. You are absolutely right to call for government investment in infrastructure. DON’T STOP THERE. During your administration, the government can borrow and invest trillions of dollars in the US economy without causing inflation. The combination of Globalization and Fiat Money makes this possible.

You not only have the opportunity to rebuild American infrastructure so that it is second to none as you promised to do in your victory speech. You also have the opportunity to invest in 21st century industries and technologies on a scale that is too big to fail, thereby guaranteeing that the United States remains the most prosperous and powerful country in the world for many decades to come.

In the past, the government could not run large budget deficits without causing high rates of destabilizing inflation. Today, the United States government can borrow and invest many trillions of dollars at little to no cost – and do so without causing inflation.

In this presentation, I’ll explain why. I’ll also describe the kind of government investment that is required to pull the United States and the world out of this economic crisis – and the extraordinary benefits that such investments would produce.

The stars are aligned. You instinctively understand the desperate need to invest in American infrastructure even if that means increasing the national debt AND you have the political clout to make sure that Congress funds this investment, something it was unwilling to do until now. At the same time, the combination of Globalization and fiat money makes it possible for the US government to borrow and invest trillions of dollars at little or even no cost whatsoever. Now that you have shattered the taboos that blocked fiscal stimulus and an increase in the national debt, all that remains to do is to determine is what kind of investments will generate the greatest benefits – and then to make those investments.

This is a once in history opportunity, Mr. President. Grasp it. INVEST. And make America’s economy greater than ever.

Pros and Cons of Hosting the APEC Meeting in Papua New Guinea

By: Ludwig Aur Aba

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a very important international organization and PNG hosting APEC meeting will bring together very important leaders of superpower countries like USA, Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and others. There will also be other observer countries as well. PNG was privileged to have been awarded the hosting rights in the last meeting, mainly because of its status as one of the fastest growing economies in the Pacific and the APEC leaders at that time were impressed on the performance of PNG economy, hence the nomination and selection. It was indeed a privilege for PNG in the eyes of the world to have been selected ahead of other countries, which were also nominated.


A good number of people have raised concerns about the benefits of hosting the APEC meeting in 2018, at a back of a suppressed economy and dilapidated state institutions and infrastructure. Several responses were provided but it does not give detailed information about how the country is going to benefit from such an important international event. At the outset, it is quite understandable why people are unhappy about hosting such an international event, when the country has cash flow problems, limited employment opportunity, dilapidated infrastructure, break-down of state institutions, poor social and health indicators. They are questioning why spending K120 million (could be more) on the event, when the economy is in bad shape.

It is worthwhile, a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of hosting such an important event is made to every concerned citizen so they are aware of the costs and benefits.



1. Raise profile of Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea

Raising the profile of our city can lead to lasting economic benefits, not only for POM but PNG as well. For example, cities which hosted the Olympics and other international events have seen a persistent increase in recognition and tourism. Like other international meetings, hosting the APEC raises a country’s profile, which are important in generating new economic benefits and business investments since the day PNG was selected to host the APEC. The importance of this is that it can change the views of the world on Port Moresby, and PNG, especially when POM was ranked as one of the most unlivable cities in the world and PNG has the most corrupt country. There are other aspects of Port Moresby and PNG the world does not see, let’s work together and give them these. Port Moresby is always in the front pages for the wrong reasons, PNG should capitalize on this event to get united and show the world that PNG is different from the rubbish that are published in the media. If there is going to be any chance to increase the profile of Port Moresby and PNG, it is definitely the hosting of APEC.
Why is Port Moresby given too much attention and not other centers? The first answer is Port Moresby is the capital city of PNG and as such, it must be treated as a capital city. You look at Sydney, Tokyo, London, New York, their governments and the private spend lots of resources to bring to where they are now. The country is changing and we must change and accept new developments. Most of these infrastructures have created thousands of jobs for our people. These infrastructures will still be here for our future generations to use. In my opinion, we must give Port Moresby the treatment it deserves to be our capital city, which all of us can be proud of, and our visitors can enjoy.

2. Long term Trade, Investment and Jobs

A significant benefit Port Moresby and PNG benefited is the long-term investment, which comes from preparing for hosting APEC. The preparation did not start yesterday, it started when PNG was selected as the host country for APEC 2018. The POM and PNG will have a legacy of improved infrastructure including venues that should address some of our daily traffic worries. Unlike, other investments, infrastructure is very expensive to build and people should accept this fact. POM should invest heavily in infrastructure and public transport to cater for the influx of not only our visitors but our increased population. This will leave a legacy for residents of POM, they will benefit from improved public transport. Any new investment bring with it jobs, and this may proof beneficial for PNG because the several years of planning and investment will help create jobs and can revive POM and can boost economic output.
Apart from the investments infrastructure and public transport, leaders of major business corporations will be here as well. They will be looking for opportunity to invest their dollars. They may strike trade deals with PNG-based corporations or resources owners. New Business deals could be struck and the employment benefits will be immense. In the long run, such deals will continue to provide employment and tax benefits to the country. Countries may also sign trade treaties or other areas of cooperation that may benefit PNG as well.

Some of the short-term benefits of hosting such events are the logistical and transportation services, which will also benefit from hosting such events. The hotels and catering services will serve our guests (in terms of bed, food, drinks etc). The security services will be increased. These will be immense. Added to these are the inflows of foreign currency, especially US dollars. Some of the leaders will be here with their spouses and other relatives and would like to spend on something that they will remember. These will benefit cultures. We should showcase our cultures to the world. PNG should be showcasing our cultural diversity, the more than 850 different languages to the world leaders as a promotion to attract more tourists into PNG in the future. East New Britain will also host some of the APEC meetings, they will also benefit from the meetings, including hotels, security, showcasing our cultures and selling artifacts etc.

These long and short term investments and spendings are important given the state of economy, by creating jobs, and can help create economic recovery. The investment has potential for leading to higher growth and higher future tax revenues.



Although hosting such important events are beneficial in economic wise, there are other things which may not be so good. For example;

1. Cost of building the infrastructure

To host an Important Event like this, require huge capital investments, which should be paid for by tax payers, unfortunately. The Costs of building these infrastructures have a tendency of going up and could be much greater than expected. Associated with the cost over-runs are the over inflated contracts, and the involvement of politicians in such contracts. These are the main issues. Politicians should not get the dirty fingers in such big projects. Unfortunately, we are in PNG and cannot avoid that.

2. Short-Term use

The other important thing is that many of facilities built for the APEC can never be fully used again. It will rarely be full outside of the Olympics. This can be mitigated by careful planning.

3. Potential for negative publicity

If things go well, a POM can benefit from positive publicity, but if things go badly, it can cause the opposite.

4. Cost of Security

The budget for the security will be biggest slice of the cake. Like any major events, this APEC should increasingly implement higher levels of security. This is both costly and can restrict freedom of movement of local citizens during the meetings.

4. Borrowing and Increase in Debt

Also, one bad thing about hosting such events is that, it eats into the budget of the host country. With the current difficult economic times PNG is facing, it has no choice but to borrow and fund the activities leading up to the APEC meetings. This may add to the overall Government debt of PNG, which will eventually be paid by the tax payers.



In my view, it is understandable why people complain about the spending by the Government to host the APEC, while other areas are suffering. But developing Port Moresby is not wrong, it is our capital city and we have to develop it. In life, there are always trade-off, we can’t get all we want. We should make some sacrifices, and in the meantime, the sacrifices are being made by the 7.5 million people of PNG to host this very important economic meeting. Let’s make use of every opportunity from this meeting and try and get something out of it to compensate for our sacrifices.

The importance of this is that it can change the views of the world on Port Moresby, and PNG, especially when it is ranked as one of the most unlivable cities and the most corrupt countries in the world. There are other aspects of Port Moresby and PNG the world does not see, let us work together and give them these. Port Moresby is always in the front pages for the wrong reasons, PNG should capitalize on this event to get united and show the world that PNG is different from the rubbish that are published in the media more frequently. If there is going to be any chance to increase the profile of Port Moresby and PNG, it is the hosting of APEC.

Let us not kill the enthusiasm to host such international events. PNG has come of age, though we have problems, they are not unique to PNG. Every country has its own set of problems, it’s not only PNG. President of US, China, Japan, Russia and others will be here. PNG just had this rare opportunity to host them. We should feel privileged to host such very powerful and important leaders on earth.

I hope I make some sense here.

Telikom Papua New Guinea prepares for LTE launch

(Source: BuddeComm)

Network deployment costs are high in PNG due to the relatively low subscriber base, the impervious terrain, and the high proportion of the population living in rural areas. As a result, fixed telecom infrastructure is almost inexistent outside urban centres, leaving most of the population unserviced. With fixed teledensity having seen little change over the past two decades, progress in telecommunications has come primarily from mobile networks, where accessibility has expanded from less than 3% population coverage in 2006 to over 80% by early 2016.


This impressive growth was triggered by the start of mobile competition in 2007. When it entered the market, competing mobile operator Digicel brought mobile services to previously unserviced areas and at the same time slashed prices. The result was a substantial increase in mobile penetration – from 1.6% in 2006 to 49% by early 2016. This remains low by international standards, and though there remains considerable room for growth this could be stymied by the latent difficulties within the market, including the high cost of deploying infrastructure, the relatively low income base among potential subscribers, and the geographical dispersal of the population. As a result of these conditions PNG remains one of the least affordable mobile markets in the Pacific.

Despite the opening of the market to competition, internet access is expensive in PNG and far beyond the means of most of the population. Throughout much of the country, internet access is simply unavailable. Mobile coverage into 2016 is extensive, though most rural areas still have only 2G services.

Nevertheless, mobile broadband is proving far more successful than fixed-line broadband, and both Telikom and Digicel are planning to provide LTE services by the end of 2016. The number of mobile broadband users is expected to continue to grow strongly as these operators expand their 3G and LTE networks in the coming years.

To overcome the country’s communication shortcomings, the government is deploying a National Transmission Network, which is expected to boost bandwidth and encourage market competition. It is managed by the state-owned PNG DataCo, which acts as wholesaler.

Given the underdeveloped telecom services, PNG’s telecom market has enormous growth potential. Despite the challenges, the country offers many investment opportunities. An increasing number of Papuans are embracing the digital age, particularly the younger generation, and mobile phones in particular are becoming a more important source of social interaction.

Key developments:

  • SIM card registration enforced;
  • Regulator issues tender for 3G mobile services;
  • Digicel Pacific extends capacity with new O3b Networks deal;
  • DataCo inhibited by slow transfer of telecom infrastructure;
  • Telikom PNG expecting LTE launch by end-2016;
  • PNG’s state-owned incumbent Telikom is being restructured to focus on retail services while its network is transferred to the state-owned company DataCo;
  • Telikom PNG reduces retail and wholesale internet charges to stimulate take-up of services;
  • PNG’s National Transmission Network has international connectivity via the PPC1 submarine cable landing in Madang, offering additional bandwidth to the APNG-2 cable landing near Port Moresby;
  • Submarine cable network ICN2, connecting PNG to Vanuatu, expected to be lit by mid-2016;
  • PNG’s telecom regulator, NICTA proposes mandatory sharing of mobile network infrastructure.
    Market penetration rates in PNG’s telecoms sector – 2015 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 1.9%
Fixed internet users 9.4%
Mobile SIM (population) 49%

(Source: BuddeComm)