Source: The National, Tuesday, February 5, 2013
PAPUA New Guinea’s resources sector could be earning as much as US$38 billion in annual export revenues by 2030, six times current levels, according to ANZ bank chief executive Mike Smith.
Smith said these increased earnings reflected diversification of resource industry benefits beyond Ok Tedi and beyond copper and gold, which included agriculture.
He told a Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast meeting yesterday that this could be the case if modest gains could be made in market shares for key commodities.
“This research is broadly indicative of the opportunity in PNG based on some work we did in 2011 on the size of the natural resources opportunity in Australia,” Smith told business executives.
“It uses many of the same assumptions about global demand for resources, to help think about the longer-term opportunity in PNG.
“And even on more-conservative assumptions, it suggests that annual revenues from resources could reach US$25 billion by 2030 – more than four times current levels.”
Smith said the sharp increase in export investment and required investment dwarfed current levels.
“While, as I said, these estimates are only broadly indicative, even the more-conservative estimate implies capital investment in PNG of around US$130 million between now and 2030… and the creating of more than 100,000 new jobs in mining, energy and support services,” he said.
“Importantly, it implies a significant diversification of activity in projects beyond Ok Tedi, and in a range of commodities beyond copper and gold, principally as a result of significant growth in LNG,” he said.
“Of course, urbanisation and higher living standards in Asia are not just driving demand for minerals and energy – they’re driving an increase in global demand for food and I believe agriculture has the potential to be the next sector in PNG to experience significant Asia-led growth.
“Here, there is enormous upside in commodities like palm oil and coffee, upside that will also require significant investment that could in turn create a wave of additional jobs in rural communities, something I know is incredibly important in PNG.”