THE two largest economies in the Pacific region have experienced strong commodity-led growth in recent years.
However, the soon-to-be-released 2014 Asian Development Outlook by the Asian Development Bank would focus on challenges faced by Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea in translating that growth into better services and living standards.
Asian Development Bank economist Milovan Lucich said PNG was due for a very large increase in growth going forward.
“This is due to the large energy projects coming online and that will have a very large effect on growth in other countries, although the effect on the broader economy may be slightly less now that the construction phase is over,” he told participants at the recent ADB Pacific Business Media Summit in Sydney, Australia.
“Similarly Timor Leste has had strong growth related to oil and gas and government receives a large amount of revenue, which they are able to spend.
“They’re able to increase their development spending quite strongly because these countries have had large amounts of revenue coming into them from the strong growth and strong commodity-prices they’ve had over the past decade.”
Despite this progress, he said, the increase in government spending had not necessarily translated into better living standards, services and infrastructure.
Suva (Fiji Times)