8 Nov 2002

PNG chamber of commerce wants more government guidance on economy

12:06 pm on 8 November 2002

The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce says the government needs to be clearer with its economic statements and vision if it wants to address the fall in the value of the currency, the kina.

The Chamber's president, Michael Mayberry, says the people of PNG need to have their confidence restored for the kina to recover from the recent sharp drop.

The finance minister, Bart Philemon, says the government will not use what it calls short-term approaches such as capital and foreign exchange controls and pegging the kina to other currencies.

Mr Mayberry says the government needs to regularly make public statements to show that it has direction.

"I would have liked to see it much stronger because everybody is a bit jittery and the problem is that it needs to come out fairly regularly until people feel that the situation has returned to normality."

The government says it will seek to maintain the independence of the central bank and is seeking to have a deficit of only one percent of GDP in the 2003 budget.