Tuesday, February 05, 2013

ANZ: ‘Asian century’ to benefit PNG

Source:  The National, Tuesday, February 5, 2013

THE so-called “Asian century” – the projected 21st-century dominance of Asian politics and culture – could have very significant long-term implications to Papua New Guinea, according to ANZ chief executive officer Mike Smith.
He told a Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast meeting yesterday that since the 1980s, there had been an enormous shift with the extraordinary rise of China and increasingly, other economies in Asia such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“Today, emerging economies account for more than two-thirds of global growth, of which China accounts for about half,” Smith said.
“Fundamentally, like Australia, PNG’s growth is now being driven by the urbanisation and industrialisation of Asia, and the prosperity of both countries is being underpinned by a super cycle in mining and energy and increasingly in agriculture.
“While I know that much of the discussion about this opportunity in PNG has focused on individual projects and short to medium-term issues, the Asian Century also has very-significant long-term implications.”
Smith said he was optimistic because he sensed there was also an increasing focus on the major issues PNG needed to overcome to ensure it took advantage of the Asian Century.
“To help take this step further, some commentators have suggested that there may be an opportunity to explore these longer-term issues through a well thought-out and measured policy document,” he said.
“For example, Australia recently completed an Asian century white paper and perhaps there is an opportunity for a discussion about whether an equivalent in PNG is worth consideration in the coming years.
“I believe PNG business has a huge amount to offer in informing and in contributing to the nation’s response to the Asian century and in helping to maximise the nation’s future success and prosperity.”

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