Vitis Foundation Chairman Dr Sergey Mossine is a naturalized citizen of Papua New Guinea. He is a Doctor in Engery and Thermodynamics and is committed to the development of communities and the improving of lives. Dr Mossine is married to Mrs Vikki Mossine who hails from Rigo in the Central Province. They both have four (4) beautiful children. Below is Dr Sergey Mossine's observation after 30 years of living in Papua New Guinea.
Dr Sergey Mossine's Observation After 30 Years of Living and Working in Papua New Guinea.
By Dr Sergey Mossine, Vitis Foundation | 04 Feb, 2022.
For 30 years living in Papua New Guinea, I was a witness of several countries rise from extreme poverty to huge wealth.
PNG Compared to Malaysia
As I mentioned before, I lived more that 1 year in Malaysia and totally visited Malaysia for business more than 25 times, since 1988 till 2020 – in my early visits, Malaysia was undeveloped like PNG: villages made from bush materials, the capital city Kuala Lumpur was nice but small, rundown roads, poverty, land mostly empty due to disputes between landowners, minerals are given away to Western companies
Then new leadership came to power in Malaysia, Dr Mahatir and his party, they made 3 major reforms which push economy up.
First reform was land reform, all land was nationalized, no more landowners, all land belong to State and easy available for development.
Second reform was nationalization of all resources industries (crude oil, gas, gold) – Petronas was formed to extract oil and gas and sell on world market, all money is going into budget.
Third reform was uplifting of work force by setting up major economic projects funded by Government (Proton factory, power generations) and by sending thousands of young Malaysians to developed countries for study for 6-7 years.
Young people got qualification and the same time they became exposed to advanced life style and modern economy. Malaysian government paid for this education program because mineral industry was nationalized and Malaysian government had a lot of money. All these young people came back to Malaysia and they changed Malaysia.
PNG Compared to Dubai
Another good example is Dubai. It was poor country with local population was growing camels and goats.
Dubai city was small low quality city. Budget money was misused and crude oil was given away to Western companies. But everything changed when new sultan becomes leader.
In 15 years, Dubai became one of richest country. Even climate and geology of this place are bad: desert climate, everywhere sand, no rivers, no lakes, no forest. Sand from the sea beach and inside whole country, very hot during summer, sand storms but smart leadership brought this country to prosperity just in 15 years.
I travelled through Dubai city. It is made from skyscrapers 50 levels, 100 levels, 150 levels, 200 levels. Each skyscraper costs $1bln and more to build, but hundreds of them in Dubai city and most of these huge buildings belong to Government. They also have Housing Corporation and it is very rich.
It is amazing place and local population is very lucky, they have good leaders who are real patriots and they love their own people. If you are born in Dubai, Government put $10,000 on your account; you want to marry, Government put $15,000 on your account. Then you can get free accommodation which is built by Government using budget money.
We visited area of Government Housing projects. Every house is not a house but villa 2-3 levels with 10 rooms and more, and this villa is given to citizens free, paid by Government. Government brought 10mln of foreigners to develop Dubai (local population 1mln) but foreigners come temporary. Whatever they build and create stay in Dubai.
We also visited the areas of agriculture projects in Dubai. In one area they have big plantations of corn. To grow corn, they dig 1m deep tranche, bring the soil from Indonesia, attach water pipe and they grow corn.
In another area it was oil palm project. They dig 3m x 3m hole, bring soil from Indonesia, attach water pipe and huge oil palm plantation is ready. They have many other agriculture projects: figs, dates, oranges, lemons, grapes etc.
You can see that it is very difficult to grow anything in Dubai, many expenses, many hard work to compare to Papua New Guinea. In Papua New Guinea, we can just throw seeds and corn will grow, but we do not have industrial plantations.
PNG Compared to China
Another good example is China. I travelled to China first time in 1985 and since that time I travel to China every year because most of our production materials are from China. I mostly go to the same city Linyi in Shandon province, and I saw the transformation of this city and whole China for last 20 years.
When I came first to Linyi, I was shocked by poverty and low living standards. 2-3 story old buildings, villages look like in old movies, pit toilets in restaurants, bad hygiene, low wages RMB300 (K100) per month, nobody could speak English, 2-3 families in 1 house, plenty beggars.
Then new leadership in China decided that it is bad for the country to have so many poor people. Government decided to put money to the pocket of every Chinese.
They start from banking reform, they had 3-4 banks before, more than 1,000 banks were established in China. Minimal wages started to rise until RMB3000 (K2000).
Qualified workers (doctors, engineers, nurses, welders etc.) have K4000-K5000 per month, and everything is much cheaper in China (electricity 10t per 1kWh, chicken K4 per 1kg, pork K5 per 1kg, vodka 1L K5, beer 500ml 80t, cucumbers 1kg K2, tomato 1kg K2, bread 500g K1 etc.).
Government used the monetary emission (up to 40% of development budget) and refinancing from large number of state own enterprises in every sector of economy.
They also decided to create local financial source to refinance Chinese economy from people’s money, especially it can be seeing very clear in accommodation. Every Chinese city was re-build and look like New York.
Hundred of millions of flats and houses were built using people savings and bank loans. Many banks create big competition between banks. Every bank looks for customers. This is modern banking orientated to provide the financial support to country’s development and improve life of people.
I remember I open my private account in Chinese bank. I am just foreigner, tourist without work permit or special status. What I provided to Chinese bank was just my PNG passport, then bank lady asked me what foreign currencies I want to have. Then I filled the application forms, then after 10min my account was opened with 4 currencies (RMB, USD, EUR, AUD).
She gave local efpos card and VISA debit card, and leaflet with password for online banking. She did not ask the permission from Central bank, from Finance Minister, even branch manager. Banking services are regulated as public services in favor of population and business to control the greed of bankers, unlimited operations with cash, plenty machines which give cash and receive cash.
There is limit to get cash from machine but you can go to any bank and you can withdraw or deposit any amount with very small fees. China like any other country is fighting ‘money laundry’ but on smart way, without destroying its banking system.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a rich country. It has warm climate, plenty water, big land, big population, forests, seas, rivers, many minerals. Many countries do not have even half of it. If all our empty land will be developed, and all unemployed population becomes employed then just think how rich we could be.
God bless people of Papua New Guinea.
These observations are NOT arrived at by application of rocket science and thus beyond the grasp of any intelligent Papua New Guinean. I see so many sharing this and marveling at something that has stared us in our faces for decades. Simply put we are NOT actually wanting a great nation. We want and accept a mediocre nation. We are where we want to be that is the grim FACT we must accept. If we wanted to be anywhere else, we would be. Just like we accept spitting everywhere, littering and loitering and bad leadership in the parliament or public sector, we accept these poor standards that tell everyone including Sergey that we do not care for ourselves, our laws, our fellow countrymen and women, our economy and our future. Being a Singapore or Rwanda or Malaysia or Dubai is no easy feat. It starts with each and everyone of us. Especially our attitude. We want to climb up to a high altitude, well our attitude will determine our altitude. Poor attitude, poor altitude. Very simple. Want change? Change yourself first. Stop spitting everywhere. Stop littering and loitering and being late and being filthy and hanging around wasting time and accepting substandard leadership and standards. Start with ourselves first.