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Papua New Guinea

Country Detail

Papua New Guinea comprises both the mainland and some 600 offshore islands and has a total land area of 470,000 square kilometers.


PNG’s population currently stands at 6.1 million people with around 15 percent of the population living in the 10 major urban areas.

PNG has a moderate tropical climate with high levels of seasonal rainfall.

The capital of Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby with a population of 255,000 people. The second largest city is the industrial city of Lae in the Morobe Province.

Over 800 different languages are spoken by the people of Papua New Guinea. English is the official language, while Tok Pisin and Motu languages are national languages.
Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia in 1975.


The country has a well-entrenched democratic system of government. The National Government comprises three independent branches: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Executive power is vested in the National Executive Council or Cabinet which comprises the Prime Minister and Ministers.

There are 22 provinces, each governed by a Provincial Government which have similar constitutional arrangements to the National Government and have concurrent power with the latter in areas such as agriculture, business development, town planning, forestry and natural resources. National laws, however, take precedence over provincial laws.

Papua New Guinea is also an active member of the Commonwealth.

Economic Profile

Papua New Guinea continues to experience strong economic performance giving confidence to businesses in the country.

Gross Domestic Product – GDP

Real GDP was projected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2012 – the 10th year of uninterrupted economic growth. Growth is supported by a recovery in mining output, and construction activity connected with the Papua New Guinea LNG project.


Papua New Guinea has a dual economy comprising a formal, corporate-based sector and a large informal sector where subsistence farming accounts for the bulk of economic activity.

Formal Sector

The formal sector provides a narrow employment base, consisting of workers engaged in mineral production, a relatively small manufacturing sector, public sector employees and service industries including finance, construction, transportation and utilities. The majority of the population is engaged in the informal sector.

Economic Sectors

The major economic sectors in Papua New Guinea are: Agriculture and Livestock, Forestry, Mining and Petroleum, Tourism and Hospitality, Fisheries and Marine resources, Manufacturing, Retailing and Wholesaling, Building and Construction, Transport and Telecommunications, and Finance and Business Trade.


PNG’s major exports are gold, silver, copper, crude oil, logs and timber, coffee, palm oil, cocoa and copra. PNG has experienced a relatively even balance of trade over the last five years, with exports marginally more than imports.


Papua New Guinea’s main imports are sourced from Australia, Japan, the United States of America, Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China and Hong Kong. The main destinations of PNG exports are Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

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