21 May 2002

PNG institute says tough decisions needed to turn around economy

5:48 am on 21 May 2002

Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs says tough decisions have to be taken once the new government is in place to improve the economy.

Its executive director, Mike Manning, says according to a survey crime and corruption are two of the main deterrents to investment along with exchange rate problems and political instability.

Mr Manning has told Radio New Zealand International that PNG's potential in agriculture is amazing but it can only be tapped into if the administration is better.

"if we stop the wasteful expenditure that goes on. This government has to take sooner or later or the new government when the new parliament's elected will have to take some very difficult decisions but they'll have to be taken if were going to reverse the downward trends in the PNG economy."

Mike Manning warns that a replacement needs to be found the Ok Tedi mine, which currently provides 27 percent of the country's GDP but is set to close in nine years.