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Papua New Guinea Economy

    Economy—overview: Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by the rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for the bulk of the population. Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings. Budgetary support from Australia and development aid under World Bank auspices have helped sustain the economy. In 1995, Port Moresby reached agreement with the IMF and World Bank on a structural adjustment program, of which the first phase was successfully completed in 1996. In 1997, droughts caused by the El Nino weather pattern wreaked havoc on Papua New Guinea's coffee, cocoa, and coconut production, the mainstays of the agricultural-based economy and major sources of export earnings. The coffee crop was slashed by up to 50% in 1997. Despite problems with drought, the year 1998 saw a small recovery in GDP.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$11.1 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.6% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,400 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 28.2%
    industry: 34.5%
    services: 37.3% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 1.7%
    highest 10%: 40.5% (1996)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12% (FY97/98 est.)

    Labor force: 1.941 million

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 64% (1993 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $1.5 billion
    expenditures: $1.35 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining of gold, silver, and copper; crude oil production; construction, tourism

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 1.7 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 70.59%
    hydro: 29.41%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 1.7 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables; poultry, pork

    Exports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1997)

    Exports—commodities: gold, copper ore, oil, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish and prawns

    Exports—partners: Australia, Japan, Germany, UK, South Korea, China

    Imports: $1.5 billion (c.i.f., 1997)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals

    Imports—partners: Australia, Singapore, Japan, US, New Zealand, Malaysia

    Debt—external: $3.2 billion (1995)

    Economic aid—recipient: $376.3 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 kina (K) = 100 toea

    Exchange rates: kina (K) per US$1—0.47 (December 1998), 0.6975 (1997), 0.7588 (1996), 0.7835 (1995), 0.9950 (1994); note—the government floated the kina on 10 October 1994

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)