By Hope Imaka – EMTV Online
Asian Development Bank (ADB) PNG Country Director, Marcelo Minc, discussed the role of ADB and other development partners in supporting the PNG government’s investment plans over the coming years.
Minc shared the challenges that will be faced in expanding infrastructure investment and identified where opportunities for enhanced development partnership coordination exist.
Here is what you can take away from Marcelo Minc’s address:
DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES IN ASIA PACIFIC
The disparities in well-being are widening within and between ADB’s developmental member countries. Basically the countries that are doing well are doing better, and the ones that are not doing so well are doing worse.
Additionally, the infrastructure deficit is constraining market-led growth and access to social services in the country.
What ADB’s 2020 strategy is doing to respond to this is putting in place the vision; which is:
- Inclusive growth
- Environmentally sustainable growth
- Regional Integration
INCLUSIVE GROWTH FRAMEWORK
The framework for inclusive growth contains three main pillars:
- Promoting high sustained economic growth
- Broadening Inclusiveness through greater access to opportunities
- Strengthening and ensuring Social Protection
According to ADB’s analysis on poverty spread throughout the country, the main concentration of poverty numbers are in the highlands. Minc pins this down to the lack of connectivity to markets and social services that pose a major barrier to inclusive development, this being the reason in which ADB has decided to carry out the road and airport projects up in the highlands. This is their contribution towards poverty reduction; connecting the country.
CHALLENGES IN THE COUNTRY TO INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT
- Resource Dependency
- Physical Isolation and Lack of Connectivity
- Weak Implementation Capacity
- Barriers to Private Sector Development & Growth Base Job Creation
- Law & Order
- Limited Transport and Energy Infrastructure
- Weak Property Rights
- Limited Access to Credit
“..It is the private sector that creates a job…” Minc said.
“We have to make sure that we create a certain economy, or we help assist or contribute to create a certain economy that can sustain itself and create the jobs…”
Minc emphasised the point that there is an issue of the available capacity to spend monies in both quantity and quality.
ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy covers the years 2016 to 2020. Focused defined, the strategic objective being, “ to assist PNG in planning and implementing the successful conversion of its resource wealth for inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth.”
OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES PER SECTOR
- Water and Sanitation sector
- Public Sector Management Issues
DRIVERS OF CHANGE
- Knowledge solution/ sharing
- Effective Gender Mainstreaming
- Environmental sustainability
WHY IS OUR FOCUS STILL ON INFRASTRUCTURE?
Whilst other donors contribute more on health, education and the private sectors providing jobs for the people, Minc stated that ADB’s contribution towards the eradication of poverty in Papua New Guinea is the improving of infrastructures to a point where is can be maintained and used to improve connectivity to provide access to other opportunities.
“Our contribution is the one we believe that we can make the best use of our experience…”
In the case of the border project, the fiscal design and plan is small, but the idea is to open up Papua New Guinea to its Asian neighbours.
LESSONS FROM ADB EXPERIENCE
- Need for long term predictable financing that builds capacity and improves governance
- Expand business opportunities and increase private sector participation (particularly in the mineral sector)
- Promote growth-base job creation
- Women Empowerment
- Increase resilience to climate change