Press Release: IMF Deputy Managing Director Agustín Carstens' Statement at the Conclusion of a Visit to Papua New Guinea
July 29, 2004
"This is my first visit to Papua New Guinea as IMF Deputy Managing Director and it has provided me with a valuable opportunity to gain a closer understanding of the economy and to exchange views with the country's leaders.
"I had the privilege of meeting the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and Treasury, the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, the Ministerial Budget Committee, and other senior officials.
"As I said in my meeting with the Prime Minister, I am very impressed by the progress that has been made over the past year in restoring macroeconomic stability.
"The government has markedly reduced the budget deficit by tightening expenditure controls. Prudent monetary policy by the Bank of Papua New Guinea has helped reduce inflation. The external position has strengthened, supported by higher export prices. And the exchange rate has stabilized and international reserves have risen.
"Papua New Guinea now faces the challenge of building on these achievements and attaining and sustaining more rapid and broad based economic growth to raise the living standard of all of its people. This will require keeping the budget under firm control, and providing a more favorable environment for private investment. Law and order must be restored and poor governance must be corrected.
"Following my discussions with the Prime Minister, I am impressed with the commitment of the government to address these issues and I am optimistic that Papua New Guinea will achieve its development goals.
"The IMF has been—and will continue to be—a strong supporter of the government's reform efforts not only through policy advice but also technical assistance."