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The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 after claiming some 20,000 lives. Since 2001, Bougainville has experienced autonomy. Under the terms of a peace accord, 2015 is the year that a five-year window opens for a referendum on the question of independence.


Oceania, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia

Natural Resources

gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Population - distribution

Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 839 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world's total); many languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers
PORT MORESBY (capital) 345,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Conventional short form
Papua New Guinea
Local long form
Local short form
parliamentary democracy (National Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Port Moresby
Geographic coordinates
9 27 S, 147 11 E
Time difference
UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain, land tenure issues, and the high cost of developing infrastructure. The economy has a small formal sector, focused mainly on the export of those natural resources, and an informal sector, employing the majority of the population. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the people. The global financial crisis had little impact because of continued foreign demand for PNG's commodities.
External debt stocks
US$ 20,030,961,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 5,689,616,248
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 7,485,533,590
Exports of goods and services
US$ 7,982,866,986
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 203,474,074
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 109,738,015
coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; poultry, pork; shellfish
copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining (gold, silver, copper); crude oil and petroleum products; construction, tourism
oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Japan 17.4%, Australia 15.9%, China 12.1% (2015)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Australia 25.9%, China 20%, Singapore 12.6%, Malaysia 7.2%, US 4.2%, Indonesia 4.1%, South Korea 4% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
Political and economic uncertainties and an occasionally difficult business environment can affect corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is appreciable.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is very difficult. Corporate financial information is rarely available and when available usually unreliable. The legal system makes debt collection very unpredictable. The institutional framework has very serious weaknesses. Intercompany transactions can thus be very difficult to manage in the highly risky environments rated D.
  • Abundant natural resources: minerals (copper, gold, nickel, cobalt), hydrocarbons (oil, gas), and raw materials (wood, coffee, cocoa, palm oil)
  • Construction of liquefied natural gas production units
  • Foreign investment in raw materials sector
  • Financial support of multilateral institutions
  • Highly exposed to natural disasters
  • Weak infrastructures
  • Low literacy rate
  • Lack of skilled labor
  • Major governance shortcomings
  • Private sector external debt rising sharply

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