Government appoints first woman Governor of Bank PNG

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape  yesterday announced a  historic appointment of Ms. Elizabeth Genia as the first woman Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG).

In announcing the National Executive Council Decision, Mr Marape said Ms. Genia  has been serving as the Acting Governor of BPNG since January 2023,  until her appointment  was  officially confirmed  by NEC.

“This signifies the confidence that my government places in the women of Papua New Guinea.

“Mrs Genia through her work has progressed up the rank of the bank the last 40 years for her to be picked as a qualified candidate”

Highlighting the government’s commitment to collaboration, Prime Minister Marape expressed anticipation for the cooperation between the government and the Bank of Papua New Guinea.

He emphasised the focus on addressing persistent issues such as national fuel security, foreign exchange, and the proper organisation of the Credit Guarantee Corporation, launched in 2022, to sustain and boost the growth of the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector.

“The Government will respect the independence of Central Bank but use the monetary policy to support and grow the economy,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape also told Ms. Genia that BPNG must ensure a steady flow of funds from export revenue, especially from the PNG LNG Project and mines and other export items, to beef up the country’s foreign exchange which is now at K14 billion.

“This will ensure that importers have ready access to foreign exchange to import goods than wait for a long period of time,” he said.

“The bank should also be encouraging resource projects to keep their export earnings onshore.

“One of the country’s biggest problems over the last 10 years has been the foreign exchange issue.”

Prime Minister Marape  called on BPNG to look at the possibility of using the Chinese ‘renminbi’ as an alternative to the US dollar, given China’s increasing trade with PNG.

“I want the bank to look at the possibility of using the Chinese currency, given our increasing trade with China,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape wants to see BPNG  to properly organise the Credit Guarantee Corporation, which was launched in 2022, to sustain and boost the growth of the SME sector.

“I want SMEs to be properly linked to the Credit Guarantee Corporation,” he said.

Mr Marape  has given his assurance that the government  would support with some funding for SMEs as the people want cheap, easy to obtain loans.

“This is also very much of the government’s Medium-Term Development Plan IV where we aim to have jobs created from SMEs.”

Prime Minister Marape would like to see that  BPNG must operate Central Bank with a PNG character and understanding of  its  people and banking requirements.