Comment on How much is PNG’s kina overvalued?

Great contributions! We need more concrete economic research and analysis with open debate about PNG's economic policies as generic economic models may not necessarily suit PNG's conditions. Giving serious thoughts to the issues, researching and openly debate about these matters will bring out the best in research to provide the basis for better policy formulation and implementation to support the vast majority of PNG's population. Thank you to Rohan & Marcel for the analyses and the commentary from Paul Flanagan is a positive input to the analyses. Great work.

Comment on How much is PNG’s kina overvalued?

Rohan and Marcel - congratulations on this excellent analysis. PNG needs more of this rigorous research to help inform better policy making in PNG.
A few quick update comments.
First, the latest IMF report (released too late for your work) is a little clearer on its views. Of the three models the IMF uses, its preferred EBA-lite REER model (given quantitative restrictions imposed by the BPNG) is an over-valuation of the Kina by 29% (page 23 of its report). This is close to my earlier estimates of a 30% devaluation being required which was based around returning to the REER of 2006.
Second, in addition to the macroeconomic impacts on growth from the overvaluation of the Kina, there are very significant distributional implications. Essentially, an overvaluation is biased against the millions of rural poor cash croppers (coffee, cocoa etc) and in favour of urban consumers. It is also biased against local production and in favour of imports. These distributional implications are at least as important as any growth implications given GDP is such a poor measure of economic welfare in PNG.
Third, the Kina has actually started to appreciate again since August 2016 on a Trade Weighted Basis according to the latest December monthly bulletin from the central bank (Chart 2). So this is going in the wrong direction.
Fourth, inflationary concerns may not be as serious in PNG as thought earlier in the year. In particular, the decline in food prices following the end of the drought and foolish earlier banning of imported products has led to an actual fall in retail prices over the last 12 months. The central bank probably has more room to move than its suggests.
Finally, and possibly most importantly for policy settings, there is a very interesting issue of how to target external balance in PNG. Most economic models fully include the resource sector. Given the characteristics of PNG's dualistic economy, I wonder whether the modelling should actually be based on excluding the resource sector? This would lead to an even more competitive Kina exchange rate, and even better development opportunities for the vast majority of PNG's population. The likely accumulation in foreign exchange reserves would become a de facto Sovereign Wealth Fund (as it did for China).
Once again, well done for the excellent analysis.
Paul Flanagan (PNG Economics)

Comment on Communications for protection: a three-minute aid pitch

Here here! Totally agree with Lisa's and Tom's comments on your presentation Ashlee. I hope the audience also supported the cause.

Comment on The New Guinea Diaries: remembering PNG’s first anthropologist

Thank you for have putting this research available. Promote young anthropologist with this insight...very fascinating and gives research wisdom to most including future researchers.

Comment on Communications for protection: a three-minute aid pitch

Bravo Ashlee. Comms should be an essential part of every aid project, and your pitch nailed this. Just wish I'd been there to see it!

Comment on Communications for protection: a three-minute aid pitch

I spend my entire working like advocating for the power of communications to enhance aid and international development projects - both 'about' and 'for'. I absolutely love the way you framed and presented your argument - witty and relevant - I wish more people were brave enough to inject fun into aid conversations. Your win is totally deserved - well done Ashlee!

Comment on PNG Supreme Court ruling on Manus Island detention centre

Werner, John and Gerard, you all touched on the different aspects of the issue i.e. international law, respect for sovereignty and the economic and environmental effect from the detention centre. We hope future discussion on asylum seekers detention centres in the region will take account of these aspects.

Comment on Australian veterinarian Robyn Alders wins inaugural Mitchell Humanitarian Award

Onya Robyn.

Comment on PNG’s frightening fiscal figures

A more desirable alternative could be public asset sales over the coming years done in ways to protect consumers (so not simply selling government monopolies). The MYEFO indicates the planned K2.5 billion in sales of PNG LNG assets to local landowners in 2015 has been put off – and if it does occur in 2016 as initially expected, it is more likely to be at a level of K600m estimated in the 2014 budget.

Comment on Australian veterinarian Robyn Alders wins inaugural Mitchell Humanitarian Award

Congratulations Prof.Robyn