Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill 2014 Christmas Message
2014 Christmas Message
Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP
23 December 2014
Firstly let me take this opportunity to wish every citizen on our country a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
As we end this year I know that it has been challenging year for all of us including our
Government and our country.
We again want to inform you that our country’s performance, in terms of the development of our country, is very positive and it is gaining strength and momentum as we are ready to enter the New Year.
Our economic growth over the past few months has been very stable - it has been growing at around 8 per cent per annum and indications are that we will end the year on a very strong note.
Our inflation has been very steady, our interest rates are very steady, our foreign reserves are very high, enough to cover six months of imports, and our employment levels in the country are continuing to increase because of the government’s strong commitment to the policies that we have introduced to our country.
Our strong investment in health and education is starting to produce results, we are seeing more kids in school.
We are also investing more money into higher learning institutions like universities, we are putting direct funding into those areas so that we could accommodate more students being taken into the coming year.
In 2016 we are putting more money as we have committed in the budget into those institutions, while the same time continuing to fund the free education program that we have so far successfully introduced for the past three years.
I know that it is not been an easy year.
Politically of course we have had some challenges, based on some ongoing and unfounded allegations, but as a Government we have been able to maintain some stability and of course that stability has allowed us to continue to achieve the outcomes that we have been able to do so this year.
We have also increased our investment in infrastructure.
Many roads throughout the country have been built, and as a result of that you can see that people are able to move freely, access services, and have ]access to markets where they can sell their goods and earn an income for their families.
We will continue to maintain that level of investment in 2015, 2016 and 2017, so that we can open up our country.
We are starting to invest more into opening up our country in some of our areas that have been isolated for many years.
Places like Telefomin, places like Simbai, Karimui-Nomane, places like Kandrian- Gloucester and many other places in the country like Kaintiba and Menyama and Aseki and all these places where no proper road infrastructure was able to connect them to receiving services that they are entitled to.
The Government is continuing to expand on investing in the road infrastructure that will link those communities.
We are investing more money to the districts which are now starting to maintain the roads and maintain the schools, to maintain the hospitals.
So all-in-all I think that we have had a very good year and I know that next year is going to be a continuation of that work that we have started.
We are continuing to invest money into the same priorities that we have invested in 2014 into
Because we can see the results, it is important that we continue to maintain the course of that investment.
If we divert our attention elsewhere we are not going to achieve the results that we all want. We must invest in health, we must invest in education, we must invest in law and order, we must invest in infrastructure.
More work will be done. We cannot fix all the problems in one year, but I want to assure every citizen of this country that your Government will continue to work for you so that we can have meaningful change in this country, and as a result of that change, your life can get better and the life of your kids and your families can improve into the New Year and beyond.
So once again I want to take this opportunity to wish every man, woman and child, and the community throughout the country a very best Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
I know that next year is going to be challenging year.
Many of you know that we have had declining oil prices coming through the global economy, some of the global economies like in Europe and America are slowing down.
They are struggling to maintain some level of growth.
In some cases they are entering into recession.
These are a concern to our economy as well because we are selling to those markets.
China is also slowing down slightly, we hope they will continue to maintain their growth because they are our biggest customer.
Japan has entered into a slight recession, but hopefully with the re-election by Prime Minister Abe their economy will be entering positive growth because they are again very important customers of Papua New Guinea, very important trading partners of Papua New Guinea.
When their economies do well, our economy will do well as well.
We will as government continue to maintain a very close watch on many of these issues, especially how the global economy trends, but all-in-all I can assure you that the economy and the management of the economy and the management of our country is in good hands.
We have got a hard-working Government, hard-working ministers and a hard-working
Parliament that is working for the good of our people.
We look forward to seeing you in the New Year, and once again let me thank you for your support.
Thank for your prayers that has been able to give us the strength and the encouragement that we need to continue to work for our people.
Thank you and God bless each and every one of you.