PNG given loan lift by Australia

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 25 Nov 2019

Australia is helping cash-strapped Papua New Guinea as it vies with China for influence in the Pacific.

With huge resources and sitting at the crossroads of the South Pacific and East Asia, PNG has leverage in seeking help.

Australian government minister Alex Hawke said Canberra will provide a A$300 million (HK$1.59 billion) loan to "help PNG in its efforts to put its budget on a more sustainable trajectory."

PNG Prime Minister James Marape noted the low-interest loan is the "first significant concessional loan Australia has offered in many years to anyone." His country's debt is 33 percent of GDP, with interest payments 15 percent of expenditure.

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