PNG seeks US help

Papua New Guinea has sought assistance from the US to streamline procedures against money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.

PNG treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey recently conducted discussions with officials at the US treasury to explore technical assistance options.

PNG treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey (centre) and Dr Misty Baloiloi (right) with deputy assistant secretary of the United States department of treasury office, Robert Kaproth, in Washington DC. Source: Supplied

Mr Ling-Stuckey said the application of these laws in PNG currently lacked an adequate “risk-based” approach.

“Small farmers, local businesses and even government cheques are all suffering from current interpretations of legislation,” he said.

“There is an urgent need for a more balanced approach and improved oversight to these interpretations, for both the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Bank South Pacific Financial Group Limited and other PNG commercial banks.

“The United States is a leader in many areas of international cooperation and regulation.

“The anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing laws were important actions to deal with dangerous international financial flows, especially following the attacks of 9/11.

“The United States’ expertise in this area could provide useful insights on getting balances right in PNG’s financial system.

“This also applies to international transactions where there are major issues in ensuring remittances from seasonal workers can easily be returned to PNG.

“We would welcome increased technical assistance cooperation between our two countries in line with greater Pacific engagement by the US.

“This would be a very useful complement to the more traditional assistance and valued assistance from the Australian treasury.”

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