WORLD BANK CALLS FOR SPENDING CURBS IN PNG, SOLOMONS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 9) – A report by the World Bank says Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have got to do more to curb public spending.

The Bank has just produced its latest update report for the region.

Economist Cyrus Talati says the current recovery in PNG is fragile and to sustain it tighter controls on spending are needed.

"It needs to strengthen financial management," Talati said. "It needs to strengthen both the governance of public spending, to cut back on waste, on poor spending etc, as well as improve the efficiency of that spending, and that is probably one of the most difficult things that will have to be done."

The Bank says in the Solomons there are concerns at an unsustainably high level of logging; that debt and spending is continuing to grow while the private sector remains subdued.

And it says the biggest problem facing Fiji is the continued loss through emigration of its skilled worker base.

November 10, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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