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« Those colonial & kiap times: some coercion, but never repression | Main | Nine things you need to know about this APEC leaders’ week »

11 November 2018


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The irony of the Coca-Cola Amatil complaint is that the company has been massively benefiting from the new tariff levels on consumers imposed in last year's supplementary budget.

Tariffs on imported can drinks increased from 12.5% with an additional charge of K2.75 per litre. This was actually an illegal increase as it was larger than what PNG had committed to when it joined the World Trade Organisation.

So a previously imported one litre bottle of soft drink from Indonesia or the Philippines with a wholesale price of K4 had its tariff jump from around K0.50 (12.5%) to K3.25.

Of course, this has been a massive win for local manufacturers as it has eliminated competition from overseas and allowed them to lift local prices. The losers are PNG consumers.

What makes this slightly different from the usual issue of balancing the interests of the local manufacturing industry and PNG families is that Coke is judged by some as a less than healthy item - so less consumption due to higher prices has an upside of lower levels of obesity etc.

So the tariff is also acting as a rather blunt sugar tax - except that Coke is getting all of the extra revenues rather than it going to the government to support health education programs in nutrition.

...Demand for foreign currency exceeded supply by about $500 million in August. ... and last month raised $500 million with its debut sovereign bond issue.

The bond issue covers just one month's worth of dollar demand shortfall.

I suspect the ... anticipated $13 billion in foreign investment capital won't amount to much in terms of demand for kina. Most of the material and equipment will be purchased offshore with probably no more than say $4 billion of kina expenses, which is only about 8 months of cover for the current monthly dollar deficit.

So I guess we shall have to keep our fingers crossed that those commodity price improvements materialize 'toute suite'. :-)

Maybe its time Coca-Cola Amatil Australia started to consider buying PNG Ramu sugar to add value to the economy it's operating out off.

That's the impression I get too Arthur.

All these heavies coming to APEC will be sussing out what they can do to rip off PNG resources. Helped along by PM O'Neill of course.

Post APEC expect the illegal logging and mining extraction to increase as landowners get further trampled.

Would it have been a better situation if Exxon had not been allowed by the elite ex-spurts who arranged Hela LNG to receive income from its hundreds of LNG shiploads in overseas banks but rather had been made to pay into the Bank of PNG.

Indeed all exported PNG resource wealth should have been received by BPNG.

Even the government’s favourite loggers’ receipts should have flowed into the BPNG from the oft transfer priced undersized logs they had been allowed to clear-fell in the illegal SABL allowed by the same elite spivs of PNG government.

After all PNG was the seller and the companies the desperate very very eager buyer of the nation's riches. Since 1975 PNG has been in charge of its own destiny but corruption allowed too many billions to fill the pockets of outsiders.

Perhaps with such a compulsory financial route BPNG and interested anti-corruption investigators could have a truer picture of real values of the nations’ God given resources flowing by the billions every year from the nations’ ground, forest and oceans.

I have a feeling the current tokfest called APEC will not be much interested in helping PNG as its raison-d’être is freer trade with all the spivery that can mean for the ‘big sharks’ versus the minnows of the Pacific.

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