Thursday, November 4, 2010

[pima.nius] PNG: Clinton warns over 'resource curse' at media conference

11:32 AM |

Title – 7111 PNG: Clinton warns over 'resource curse' at media conference
Date – 5 November 2010
Byline – Campbell Cooney
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Radio Australia, 4/11/10
Copyright – RA
Status – Unabridged
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By Campbell Cooney

PORT MORESBY (Radio Australia/Pacific Media Watch): The US Secretary of State has warned Papua New Guinea to make a commitment to transparency and good governance in order to avoid a "resource curse".

At a joint news conference with PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare before flying to New Zealand, Hillary Clinton praised the country's steps towards transparency, including the provision of a sovereign wealth fund.

The United States government will provide the Pacific nation with expertise in energy sector governance, revenue management and regulation.

The US Import-Export Bank approved its largest financing transaction last year to help PNG develop its liquefied natural gas reserves.

It is estimated Papua New Guinea's LNG project will inject more than $US20 billion into its economy and help end its reliance on aid donations.

But Clinton warned of the pitfalls of such wealth.

"There is a phrase, 'resource curse' - countries with abundant natural resources like oil and gas, or gold or minerals, they're not handled right and actually end up making a country poor instead of richer," she said.

This year, watchdog group Transparency International rated PNG as one of the 20 most corrupt nations in the world and one of the three most corrupt in the Asia Pacific region.

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