MAC/20: Mines and Communities

The Australian government's EFIC is arguing export finance will save PNG

Published by MAC on 2004-04-30

The Australian government's Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) is arguing that new promotion of export investment will save Papua New Guinea from the financial social insecurity which EFIC promoted in the first place.

Need to focus on sustainable ventures

The National

30 April 2004

Letter to the Editor

EFIC [Export Finance Insurance Corporation], the "top Australian group" referred to in the article "Prime Minister's new ally" (The National, April 29) is actually an Australian Government corporation whose role is to underwrite risky Australian investment in low income countries like Papua New Guinea.

EFIC has funded almost every major mine in PNG like Ok Tedi, Bougainville, Porgera, Kutubu and Lihir.

This Australian Government financier is responsible for the impacts of all these major mines and the economic, environmental and social instability that have resulted from them.

There exists a vast catalogue of research that proves that export-led development - does not work.

What this in turn suggests is that we need to focus on more sustainable ventures that alleviate poverty rather than lining the pockets of big business and politicians.

Many Australian taxpayers who fund EFIC are becoming increasingly outraged at the legacy that EFIC has created - especially in PNG.

Not mentioning EFIC is controlled by the Australian Government and the inherent interests this omission conceals requires immediate recognition and rectification for your readership.

Tim O'Connor
AID/WATCH
Sydney Australia

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