Over the past 47 years, we have encountered chnallenges and learnt lessons that are now being used to inform chnage. The unity of our people, despite being a country of a thousand cultures, remains strong. Our thriving democracy is a firm attestation of our resilience as a people. As we reach our 50 years Golden Jubilee, we will overcome the tyranny of our remoteness by connecting every community through the Connect PNG Program either by roads, sea, air, electricity, telecommunication, atelaite, or e-government system. My Government is confident that under the development mantra of “Take Back PNG” we will drive the development of the country for the next 50 years.

As a country we have progressed despite the challenges. However, the dynamics of modern-day geopolitics demand that we transform our economy to remain globally competitive. It is critical that we benchmark our development charter against global standards, or risk being left behind. Therefore, we must be innovative and strategic in our approach to development. We are going to undertake legislative and institutional reforms in order to gain efficiency and productivity of our economy. Our agencies that are shackled by legacy issues and inefficiencies will be the focus of our reforms.

The Government is committed to maximizing returns through onshore downstream processing of our natural resources to transform the economy. We will empower our people by growing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that are bedrock of our economic prosperity. We will muster our conomic output, reverse capital flight; and entrench trade and investment to PNG’s favour. We will build a highly skilled human capital to drive the economy. We will invest in research and development to develop new technologies and product for our local needs as well as global.

Whilst we are aware of our challenges in providing for our bulging youth population, we are equally excited about the opportunites that can be harnessed through the development and empowerment of this segment of our demographics. To achieve that, we will pursue an inclusiove approach where we are “leaving no child behind.”

Districts and provinces will be resourced in this medium term to build their socioeconomic infrastructure and minimum service standards across all sectors. This will reduce the existing disparity in resource allocations and ensure that there is equity in resource distribution for development.

We will continue to respect the independence of the institutions of government so that they take resonsibility to deliver the services to our people as designed and intended.

I call on all government agencies, development partners, private sector, civil society and faith-based organizations to align and work together to achieve the objectives of this plan. Let us be smart and vigorous in our quest to build a resilient economy.

To my fellow parliamentarians, it is incumbent to carry out our duties with ownership, pride and commitment.

Let us work together to Take Back PNG.

God Bless Papua New Guinea

Hon. James Marape
Prime Minister