“PNG is now formally classified as a “fragile state” by both the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This was not the case in 2011 under the National Alliance. PNG has joined the very small number of states that are considered to be both above low income status but still fragile in 2017. The others are Zimbabwe -recovering from the wrecking of long-time Prime Minister Mugabe -and Timor Leste still suffering from the civil war costs as it separated from Indonesia. It is with great reluctance that I regretfully state, that this descent to a fragile state status, in the midst of the start of a massive new PNG LNG project is a national embarrassment” said Ian Ling-Stuckey, Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance.
“Being a Shadow Treasurer is a really tough job in the current circumstances of png politics and most people would agree! I have such a belief in the positive potential of the future of this country and its people. But I see a growing list of very worrying information from independent outside organisations, commenting on how things are really going in this country. This is in contrast to the “shift-the-blame” stories and “fake news” stories from the national government. I feel obliged to say ‘PNG could be doing much better – we are not doing well and new well framed policies are required to restore our pride’. This is the honest approach required from the Alternative Government. So I will continue to expose the truth, oppose the fake news and propose better solutions” said Mr Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“Let me be clear – there are no other APEC countries on this fragile states list from the World Bank or Asian Development Bank. So why are we funding a huge and expensive APEC meeting when we should be concentrating on getting our country back in order? It is too late to stop the expenses and wasted priority given to the November APEC meeting. Instead, it is time to take all of the available opportunities, but bad calls have been made by the national government on how to spend our declining revenues.
“The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank produce annual data on the many factors that can influence a country being classified as a “fragile state” (or “fragile Territory” for areas such as the West Bank and Gaza). The first World Bank list starts from 2005. The ratings are based on the “Country Policy and Institutional Assessment” assessed by banks – an important element of being able to receive more grants or low cost loans. In the early years, PNG was not considered a ‘core or severe’ member of this list. Indeed, during the late 2000s, this score improved. However, since 2012, this rating has started to decline so that PNG is now officially classified as a “fragile state”. The main reasons for this are the decline in the “economic management cluster” from 4.0 to 2.8, the fall in the” macroeconomic rating” from 4.5 to 2.5, the decline in the “debt policy rating” from 4.5 to 3.5, and the fall in the “trade rating” from 4.5 to 4.0. Overall, from 2013 to 2017, the detailed statistics indicate a fall in this ‘fragile states’ index from 3.3 in 2013 to 3.0 in 2017. Other World Bank tables have indicated the fall has gone to 2.96 for the latest ranking. The usually more conservative Asian Development Bank, has dropped PNG’s ratings from 3.11 in 2010 to 2.86 on the latest figures. Once again, 3.2 is the cut-off.
“There is a lot of data in the above figures. And it is difficult to find some index that compares whether a state is “fragile” across the globe. However, the best estimates from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank are that we are going backwards. How could this be when we have the extraordinary opportunities of this country? Of course, there was a bad drought in 2015 which the government didn’t act fast enough on, and commodity prices have dropped which the government horribly mismanaged, but this is now 2018 and things should be so much better. Instead, poor economic policies continue to hinder the economic, jobs and incomes opportunities of the people of PNG” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance
28 August 2018
Source: Country Policy and Institutional Assessment Ratings for PNG updated 28 June 2018 – data download from World Bank Group, CPIA database (http://www.worldbank.org/ida).
Details of rankings
MEDREL -PNG’s FALL TO FRAGILE STATE-WORLD BANK AND ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK.280818