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  Papua New Guinea   
  Introduction Back To Top

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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (1987)

Total renewable water resources:
801 cu km (1987)

Land boundaries:
total: 820 km
border countries: Indonesia 820 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
6 00 S, 147 00 E

Natural resources:
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m

mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

Geography - note:
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast

total: 462,840 sq km
land: 452,860 sq km
water: 9,980 sq km

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

5,152 km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:
rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought

Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis

Land use:
arable land: 0.49%
permanent crops: 1.4%
other: 98.11% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
3.71 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
60,000 (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66 years
male: 63.76 years
female: 68.35 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2008)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.3%
male: 63.4%
female: 50.9% (2000 census)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian

Median age:
total: 21.5 years
male: 21.6 years
female: 21.4 years (2008 est.)

5,931,769 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
2.118% (2008 est.)

Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2%, Motu spoken in Papua region
note: 820 indigenous languages spoken (over one-tenth of the world's total)

Death rate:
6.96 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 46.67 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 50.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 42.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
600 (2003 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 37.3% (male 1,124,174/female 1,086,478)
15-64 years: 58.7% (male 1,791,342/female 1,690,089)
65 years and over: 4% (male 111,023/female 128,663) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
28.14 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Roman Catholic 27%, Evangelical Lutheran 19.5%, United Church 11.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10%, Pentecostal 8.6%, Evangelical Alliance 5.2%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.5%, other Protestant 8.9%, Bahai 0.3%, indigenous beliefs and other 3.3% (2000 census)

noun: Papua New Guinean(s)
adjective: Papua New Guinean

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie V. ROWE
embassy: Douglas Street, Port Moresby, N.C.D.
mailing address: 4240 Port Moresby PI, US Department of State, Washington DC 20521-4240
telephone: [675] 321-1455
FAX: [675] 321-3423

National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 September (1975)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
constitutional parliamentary democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Ahora [Andrew MAMOKO] (represents local tribes); Centre for Environment Law and Community Rights or Celcor [Damien ASE]; Community Coalition Against Corruption

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Evan Jeremy PAKI
chancery: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
FAX: [1] (202) 745-3679

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Parliament (109 seats, 89 filled from open electorates and 20 from provinces and national capital district; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); constitution allows up to 126 seats
elections: last held from 30 June to 10 July 2007; next to be held in June 2012
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - National Alliance 27, PNGP 8, PAP 6, URP 6, PANGU 5, PDM 5, independents 19, others 33; note - election to 1 seat was nullified
note: 15 other parties won 4 or fewer seats; association with political parties is fluid

Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centered; the lower triangle is black with five, white, five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centered

16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea
conventional short form: Papua New Guinea
local short form: Papuaniugini
former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea
abbreviation: PNG

Political parties and leaders:
National Alliance Party or NA [Michael SOMARE]; Papua and Niugini Union Party or PANGU PATI [Andrew KUMBAKOR]; Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP [Sir Mekere MORAUTA]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Michael OGIO]; People's Action Party or PAP [Gabriel KAPRIS]; United Resources Party or URP [William DUMA] (2007)

name: Port Moresby
geographic coordinates: 9 30 S, 147 10 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

16 September 1975

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by governor general Sir Paulius MATANE (since 29 June 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Sir Michael SOMARE (since 2 August 2002); Deputy Prime Minister Puka TEMU (since 29 August 2007)
cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by governor general on recommendation of prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is nominated by parliament and appointed by the chief of state; following legislative elections, usually the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition is appointed prime minister by the governor general acting in accordance with a decison of the parliament

Administrative divisions:
20 provinces; Bougainville (autonomous region), Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital, New Ireland, Northern, Sandaun, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the proposal of the National Executive Council after consultation with the minister responsible for justice; other judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Australia 27.3%, Japan 9.5%, China 5.7% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
2.674 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
7.38% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$438 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.582 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
1.9% up to 80% in urban areas (2004)

Oil - exports:
39,310 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$2,300 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
19.9% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.486 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$13.36 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$6.363 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.9 (1996)

Exchange rates:
kina (PGK) per US dollar - 2.6956 (2008 est.), 3.03 (2007), 3.0643 (2006), 3.08 (2005), 3.2225 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
6.3% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$1.685 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
3.639 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
Australia 51.3%, Singapore 11.6%, China 7.9%, Japan 5.7% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 32.8%
industry: 36.5%
services: 30.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
24,150 bbl/day (2005)

$5.658 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
140 million cu m (2006 est.)

Currency (code):
kina (PGK)

Economy - overview:
Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. The government of Prime Minister SOMARE has expended much of its energy remaining in power. He was the first prime minister ever to serve a full five-year term. The government also brought stability to the national budget, largely through expenditure control; however, it relaxed spending constraints in 2006 and 2007 as elections approached. Numerous challenges still face the government including regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatizing moribund state institutions, and balancing relations with Australia, its former colonial ruler. Other socio-cultural challenges could upend the economy including a worsening HIV/AIDS epidemic and chronic law and order and land tenure issues. Australia supplied more than $300 million in aid in FY07/08, which accounts for nearly 20% of the national budget.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

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

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

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
37% (2002 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.78% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$1.482 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
2.875 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$3.013 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
88 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 85%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (2005 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
226.5 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.548 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
29,050 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Public debt:
34% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.863 billion (2005)

Currency code:

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

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

Economic aid - recipient:
$266.1 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 54.1%
hydro: 45.9%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
140 million cu m (2006 est.)

revenues: $3.098 billion
expenditures: $2.949 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
42,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
110,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
60,000 (2007)

59,841 (1999)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 19, shortwave 28 (1998)

410,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
300,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
3 (all in the Port Moresby area; stations at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Lae, and Rabaul are planned) (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: services are minimal; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
domestic: access to telephone services is not widely available; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 6 per 100 persons
international: country code - 675; submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)

Internet hosts:
3,422 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

11,000 km (2006)

oil 264 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:
Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Rabaul, Wewak

2 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 21
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 17, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 6 (UAE 6) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

total: 19,600 km
paved: 686 km
unpaved: 18,914 km (2000)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 557
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 58
under 914 m: 489 (2007)

578 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
16 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,481,417
females age 16-49: 1,385,040 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,080,466
females age 16-49: 1,092,040 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF; includes Maritime Operations Element, Air Operations Element) (2009)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 62,865
female: 61,102 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
relies on assistance from Australia to keep out illegal cross-border activities from primarily Indonesia, including goods smuggling, illegal narcotics trafficking, and squatters and secessionists

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 10,177 (Indonesia) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Papua New Guinea is a country of destination for women and children from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and China trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; internal trafficking of women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude occurs as well
tier rating: Tier 3 - Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the current legal framework does not contain elements of crimes that characterize trafficking; the government lacks victim protection services or a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking; the government did not prosecute anyone in 2007 for trafficking; Papua New Guinea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)

Illicit drugs:
major consumer of cannabis

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