SLOW GROWTH IN 2009 FOLLOWS RECORD HIGH OF 5%

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Pacific growth in 2008 reached historic levels

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 27, 2009) – The Asian Development Bank has described 2008 as a year of historic high growth in the Pacific of 5 per cent, led by Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

ADB’s country economist Dominic Mellor said from Sydney yesterday that Pacific economies however would face greater difficulties this year because of the effects of the global financial crisis.

"Overall, growth is projected to slow to 3.1 per cent in 2009," Mr Mellor said.

He said five Pacific economies were expected to contract this year.

As part of its response to the impacts of the global downturn on the Pacific region, ADB is boosting its economic monitoring service, which includes the launch of the first issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM).

PEM is a quarterly publication which will review and report on developments of the Pacific nations. It will also explore emerging policy issues related to the economic performance of these countries.

ADB’s Pacific country economist Craig Sugden and the PEM team will address these issues and others at the launch of the new ADB Pacific economic publication on January 1 next year.

ADB’s offices in Fiji and Papua New Guinea will be connected to the Sydney launch via video-conference enabling Pacific journalists and others to participate in the launch. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

ADB country economist Dominic Mellor will also make a short presentation and focus on the PNG economy in more detail.

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