Source: The National, Friday, February 15, 2013

AN overwhelming 68% of major Papua New Guinea companies surveyed by Business Advantage PNG feel that this year will be a more-profitable than last year.
The survey which was released yesterday says investments are set to grow even further and jobs growth will continue, although this may be lower than previous years.
The PNG 100 CEO Survey 2013 was conducted by Business Advantage International between late November 2012 and last month.
 The survey included senior executives from a representative sample of PNG’s largest companies from across all sectors of the economy.
The organisation, which carried out the PNG 100 CEO Survey 2012 last year that correctly predicted that PNG’s largest companies would record profits, expects another good year in 2013.
“With strong profits recorded  and expectations for further profit, investment and employment growth in the year ahead, PNG’s largest companies seem set for another good year in 2013,” Business Advantage PNG said.
“At a time when some are wondering if PNG’s boom is coming to an end, it’s a positive sign for the country and for those planning to do business and invest there.
“The PNG 100 CEO Survey will be back in 12 months to see how 2013 went in reality.”
Business Advantage PNG said investments were set to grow even further in 2013.
“It seems as if increased profits are encouraging PNG’s major businesses to invest further in Papua New Guinea,” it said.
“Almost 70%, compared with 57% in our last survey,  told us they were planning to spend more on plant, equipment and other assets in 2013 than they did in the previous year, with a further 17% saying they would match last year’s investment.
“Only 14% said they were planning to reduce their investment during 2013, a similar number to last year.”
Business Advantage PNG said there would be jobs growth this year, but maybe slower than previous years.
“Last year, 52% of PNG’s major companies said they intended to take on more staff in 2012,” it said.
“This evidently proved to be the case: the Bank of Papua New Guinea’s September 2012 Quarterly Economic Bulletin reported employment growth of 7% over the 12 months preceding.
“This year, we have more good news for new graduates and those hoping for a new job once the PNG LNG project construction phase comes to an end.
“Just under half of employers we surveyed said they were again expecting to increase their head count this year.”
“Existing jobs seem safe too: only 6% of companies surveyed were expecting to lay off staff.”
“Significantly, though, only 11% of employers surveyed said they were planning a ‘significant’ increase in staff in 2013—much less than last year.
“If these expectations tally with national statistics, we might anticipate a slight slowing of employment growth in 2013.”