As a lead up to the tabling of the Papua New Guinea’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) legislation by the PNG government, the country’s think tank, the National Research Institute staged a public seminar today to present preliminary findings of a study the institute did on the SWF.

Presented during the seminar where government departments, development partners,

academia, as well as the general public.

Leading the discussion today was David Osborn, visiting fellow from Development Policy Center of the Australia National University senior economist with Adam Smith International.

The questions that formed the basis of Mr Osborn’s review of the SWF in collaboration with NRI are;

  • Why establish a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) for PNG?
  • How has PNG managed revenues in the past?
  • What has been the process to-date in establishing the SWF?
  • What is the current status of the SWF?
  • What next for the SWF

Mr Osborn noted that setting up SWF is necessary as PNG being PNG is resource dependent, especially gold, copper, oil and LNG and has history of negative impacts from economic shocks, budget deficits and unsustainable government debt.

However, given the history of the poor management of resource revenues in the past, the question of SWF management becomes critical.

As noted by Mr Osborn as well as several other commentators during the seminar, the current status of the SWF remains mysterious with the government only announcing the tabling of the SWF legislation through media. That he later informed PNG Loop makes it difficult to determine the future of PNG’s SWF.

PNG loop however understands that tabling of the SWF legislation will allow independent assessment of the model adopted to determine its suitability for PNG economy and the future of the fund