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16 June 2019


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Marape's whole statement is problematic, Daniel. I can sympathise with your objection regarding the word 'black'.

"The richest black Christian nation on planet earth" has other problems too.

Why does it have to be rich, for instance? We all know the old adage that money doesn't bring happiness.

And why Christian? Surely a nation's beliefs shouldn't be a determinate of its health?

Maybe Marape should adjust his aspirations.

Perhaps the happiest and most equitable nation embracing all colours and beliefs might be a better goal.

Hi Daniel - You're right about deep seated tribal affiliations. It can be a human strength or a weakness depending on how it is played up to.

We are all human and have the same basic DNA. As Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address, "we are all created equal". Unfortunately, after we are born, we then start trying to prove otherwise.

I resent being called black, black simply means not white. We have deep rooted tribal identity forged over 10,000 years that far exceeds this vague generalisation that only came about after we were exposed to Europeans.

PNG can become the richest black nation not by supporting transnational companies but by supporting the informal economy at the grassroots level.

Creating cash flow in the informal sector supports the poor people to eradicate poverty and improve living standards. When people are happy, the nation develops.

Wonderful analysis and insightful comments. A 10 year target should be realistic, and being #1 is not in the cards.

Elsewhere, I showed that the long term vision of PNG graduating to an upper middle income country (vision 2050), and no longer being a developing country is entirely possible if an average economic growth of 5% of GDP per year is sustained.

Regrettably, in PNG required framework conditions are not present nor is there a credible and effective process in place to create them (law and order, sustainable tax system, property rights, health, education etc.), while economic policies have usually been misguided and disastrous. Consequently we have seen mostly boom-bust cycles and lack of capability to manage the economic cycle.

There is capital flight not because of decreasing public confidence but purely due to extraction merchants stashing their earnings offshore with complicated business registration and ownership arrangements.

Using the huge political capital that the new prime minister has, simple amendments to resource laws can reverse that trend.

That's a very good point about tourism and the comparison between PNG and Fiji.

Developing tourism in PNG requires two important precursors, fixing the law and order problem and providing suitable infrastructure such as good roads and better airports.

Tourism, law and order and infrastructure would all feed into each other. Youths who create many of the law and order problems could be employed in tourism and infrastructure projects for instance.

Marape's aspiration doesn't have to succeed to be successful. It simply needs to exist as a target. I'm sure he doesn't believe he can achieve such an aspiration, even in the long term.

Tourism is the sleeping giant in PNG for creating the most jobs and economic growth. Compare tourism in Fiji and PNG and examine the PNG tourism potential.

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