Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Papua, one of the countrys most backward and impoverished provinces recorded a strong economic growth of 7.97 percent in 2015.

The growth recorded by Papua was well above the countrys economic growth of 4.79 percent in 2015, head of the representative office of Bank Indonesia for Papua Joko Supratikto said here on Wednesday.

In the last quarter of 2015, the economy of the province grew 14.08 percent driven by net exports that surged 252.65 percent , Joko said.

He said consumption that grew 5.87 percent on religious and new year celebrations, also contributed to jacking up the economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In addition, the investment sector that grew 7.41 percent on government projects also contributed considerably to the economic growth,

Joko said the economy of Papua is expected to expand in 2016 driven by brisker mining industry.

"Estimate by Bank Indonesia puts Papuas economic growth at 8.59-9.59 percent in 2016," he said.

Joko quoted reports by mining companies, that Papua exported 1.2 million ounces of gold and 744 million pounds of copper in 2015.

The exports bare predicted to rise to 1.8 million ounces of gold and 1.8 billion pounds of copper in concentrate.

U.S. mining company PT Freeport Indonesia, the countrys largest copper and gold producer, has large copper and gold mines in Papua. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2016