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Chapter | Banking from The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017

Papua New Guinea’s banking sector is sound, stable and profitable. Despite slow economic growth in the country in recent years, institutions have managed their exposures well and entered the current weak patch in a strong position. They are generating good results and investing in future growth. Regulation is solid and improving, with the central bank updating key laws and bringing the sector closer to international standards in terms of anti-money laundering. Innovation is helping to improve customer experience and geographical coverage, while it also promises to revolutionise the way money moves throughout the country. The establishment of Kina Bank in 2015 did not result in a dramatic change in the competitive landscape, but the dynamics of the sector are evolving, with institutions increasingly responsive on price and offering. At the highest levels work on inclusion continues. This chapter contains interviews with Loi Bakani, Governor, Bank of Papua New Guinea and Mark Baker, Managing Director, ANZ Bank Papua New Guinea.

Chapter | Economy from The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017

Despite some weak headline numbers, Papua New Guinea’s economy is set to see a recovery in 2017. Depreciation of the kina and the shortage of US dollars have slowed imports and led to pockets of strength. Robust activity at the small and medium-sized enterprise level and in the informal sector is ongoing, while key statistics, such as the current account, are indicating a return to balance. The recent drought has come to an end, and two major mines are back on-line and ramping up production. Importantly, commodity prices seem to have stabilised globally. The near- to medium-term conditions are right for GDP to edge back up into a more comfortable range. Major gas and mining projects could contribute significantly to growth, while reforms currently being put into place are likely to add to the sustainability of the economy. This chapter contains interviews with Thomas Abe, Managing Director, Kumul Consolidated Holdings; Dairi Vele, Secretary of the Treasury; and Sir Kostas Constantinou, Managing Director, Lamana Development.

Chapter | Trade & Investment from The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017

The international position of Papua New Guinea has improved in recent years as the country continues to benefit from a number of positive trends. A stabilisation in commodity prices, strong output from the country’s major projects and an end to the El Niño drought have brought major trade indicators back into line. A lack of US dollars and the weak kina have helped as well by boosting exports and lowering imports. PNG’s balance of trade remains at or near a record high, while the current account has been positive for a number of years following a long period in the red. Prospects are good for keeping the totals at the right levels and also seeing possible improvements across the board. This chapter contains interviews with Clarence Hoot, Acting Managing Director, Investment Promotion Authority and Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia; and viewpoints from Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand and Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Report | The Report: Papua New Guinea 2017

After a number of challenging years, PNG is starting to hit its equilibrium point again. It has largely passed through the period of difficult adjustments, and now some balance has returned. A number of long-planned projects are progressing and new areas of opportunity are being explored.

Chapter | Tax1 from The Report: Thailand 2017

This chapter examines Thailand’s tax laws relevant to businesses. It explains key corporate tax rates and regulations, tax holidays and incentives, and other important areas. It also contains a viewpoint from Andrew Jackomos and Paul Ashburn, Co-Managing Partners, BDO.

Chapter | Education & Health1 from The Report: Thailand 2017

Selected headline numbers generated by the Thai education sector have been encouraging. The country has a high rate of literacy, an increasing number of top-rated universities, long school-life expectancy, a strong history of education and a large education budget. Globally and regionally, it compares well by these measures. The country also has ambitions to become a major educational centre, undertaking cutting edge research and attracting students from ASEAN and beyond. Meanwhile, Thailand delivers health care effectively, fairly and at a relatively low cost. Its Universal Coverage Scheme, together with two other national programmes provide good basic benefits to all Thais, and now to most residents of the county. Because of its success Thailand is sometimes regarded as a health care model in the developing world. This chapter contains interviews with Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Minister of Education; Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President, Asian Institute of Technology; Dipak Jain, Former Director, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration; and Virapatna Thakolsri, Managing Director, Biopharm Chemicals.