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Port Moresby
September 26, 2021
Business Finance

Survey reveals Foreign Exchange as most critical impediment to business

Foreign Exchange has been identified as the biggest impediment for businesses in Papua New Guinea.

The 2020 PNG 100 CEO Survey conducted recently by Business Advantage International reveals this after the Survey results were presented at a Business Breakfast, hosted by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a room filled with business executives from various sectors of PNG’s economy, the Business Breakfast held at Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby was provided with Survey results that were much different from the previous year.

Business Advantage International has run a Survey of senior PNG Executives every year since 2012, known as the PNG 100 CEO Survey.

Its eight years of data reveal enlightening trends about the state of business confidence in PNG. As part of the Survey each year, Business Advantage International asks businesses what their top Impediments are.

And since 2014, the top five Impediments have been skill shortages, foreign exchange shortages, security, unreliable telecommunications, and unreliable utilities.

Just like 2016, 2017 and 2018 Survey results, Foreign Exchange comes back as the biggest impediment for business in PNG for 2020.

“Foreign Exchange is the number one issue ranked by CEO’s but there are a number of other issues that are high up on the list, unreliable telecommunications is right up there, unreliable utilities, security and law and order is also pressing and the shortage of expertise and skills,” Business Advantage International Publishing Director, Andrew Wilkins said.

“A new category that we added this year, is Regularity Uncertainty…” Wilkins added.

Unlike other years, Survey results for this year come with analysis by Senior Economist for the Westpac Bank in PNG Justin Smirk, where he identifies five key highlights from the eight years of the PNG 100 CEO Survey.

From 2016 to 2019, Smirk says Foreign Exchange liquidity improved and dropped back down the list, but it has popped back to be the most significant constraint for 2020.

“The foreign exchange has moved through times from being 2016 with a period of time where it was really tight, it loosened up through last year – in particular last year with the additional funds being released, we saw some relief coming through but since then we’ve seen it tighten again and we know from our own back orders, that the backorders have probably doubled since Christmas,” Smirk explained.

The Survey results presentation was followed by a Panel Discussion on the results from the Survey, including PNG’s Economic Outlook for 2020, and the Challenges that go with it.

The panel included Executive Director for the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, and Minister for State Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel.

By Dennis Orere – EM TV News, Port Moresby

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