The Pacific as a whole is already being affected by the global economy but Papua New Guinea continues to defy trends and is performing strongly, says Westpac’s Pacific general manager, Greg Pawson.
Although he expects the Pacific’s largest economy will slow somewhat over the next two or three years, he remains optimistic.
A lot of people think PNG will slow down a lot as the PNG LNG project construction phase comes to end, but I think there are sufficient other major resources projects in the pipeline for us to remain confident.”
Also helping to sustain high growth is the remarkable expansion of the banking system itself.
At the end of 2012, PNG’s largest bank, BSP, passed one million active bank accounts for the first time, part of the banking industry’s push towards greater financial inclusion across the region.
“Four years ago, when I came here, we had about 550,000 accounts,” Ian Clyne, BSP’s chief executive officer tells Business Advantage PNG.
BSP is using tablet technology to deliver banking services to some of the most-remote regions in the country.
“This technology enables us to open new accounts within five minutes wherever there is mobile phone coverage,” says Clyne.
The solution was recognised as the best bank-led mobile money programme in the 2012 Connected World Mobile Money Awards.