Fiscal Management Challenges in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste

Photo: ADB.
Photo: ADB.

To increase sustainability and inclusiveness of growth, resource-rich Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste need to look at ways to improve the quality and efficiency of public spending.


High commodity prices seen since 2005 (Figure 1) have helped Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor-Leste to become the fastest-growing economies in the Pacific. This provided an unprecedented opportunity to invest in public goods and build fiscal buffers. Both countries have pursued ambitious national infrastructure plans and have expanded health, education, and other social welfare programs. However, institutional capacity shortfalls have created fiscal and economic challenges that have limited the benefits of higher public spending.

Figure 1: International commodity prices (Index: January 2000=100, monthly)

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Meet the experts

  • Aaron Batten    
    Country Economist, Asian Development Bank

    Aaron Batten is responsible for ADB's macroeconomic analysis, public financial management, and structural reform issues in Viet Nam. He was the country economist in Papua New Guinea before moving to the Viet Nam Resident Mission in 2015. Prior to joining ADB, he was economic adviser to the Government of Malawi, focusing on fiscal reform and debt management. He has also worked on structural reform and regional trade and integration issues at the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and the Australian Commonwealth Treasury.

  • Christopher Edmonds    
    Senior Economist, Asian Development Bank

    Christopher Edmonds manages ADB’s economics research for the Pacific, and oversees the flagship Pacific Economic Monitor publication. He provides economic inputs to ADB’s various loan operations and programming efforts for the Pacific. His work outside ADB includes teaching and research assignments with the University of Hawai'i – Mānoa, the East-West Center, and the International Rice Research Institute.

  • David Freedman    
    Consultant, Asian Development Bank

  • Rommel Rabanal    
    Senior Economics Officer, Asian Development Bank

    Rommel Rabanal is a regular contributor to the Pacific Department’s quarterly macroeconomic monitoring and surveillance cycle. His other responsibilities include analytical contributions to knowledge products, and periodic capacity building missions to Pacific countries on fiscal and economic analysis.

   Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Governance and public sector management
   Last updated: December 2014



The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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