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Old 09-04-2003, 08:40 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Port Moresby
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INTRODUCTION TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea is known as “the land of the unexpected” with its enormous diversity of cultures, peoples, and landscapes. And to many it is also the land of opportunity. In a country rich with mineral resources, fertile lands and abundant marine life, the potential investment opportunities are numerous.

Approximately 80% of the population live in rural areas and rely on the informal sector for their livelihood. Primary industries including mining and petroleum, agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors make up the core of the formal economy. In 2000 77.3% of total exports were from the mining and petroleum sector, 9.4% from the agricultural sector, 4.9% from forestry, and 7.5% from manufacturing.

Main agricultural exports are coffee, cocoa, palm oil, copra oil, copra, tea and rubber. Other products exported include sugar, canned meat, canned fish, fish meal, fish oil, biscuits, cigarettes, coconut oil based cosmetics, toilet paper, furniture, mattresses, cement, paints, sawn timber, woodchip, veneer and steel products.

There is strong potential for the spice industry to be developed further and growth can already be seen in vanilla production.

PNG’s main trading partners are Australia, Japan, United States and China.

BASIC PNG FACTS

LOCATION: Papua New Guinea is located in the South Pacific between 1 to 2 degrees south latitude and 141 to 157 degrees east longitude. The mainland borders with Indonesia to the West and is separated from the North of Australia by the Coral Sea.

TIME ZONE: GMT plus 10 hours

LAND AREA : The total land area of 462,840 square kilometres is made up of the mainland – the eastern part of the island of New Guinea – and over 600 islands in varying sizes.

CLIMATE: The climate is tropical with two seasons, the wet and the dry, but temperatures differ markedly between the coastal areas and the highlands. Lowland coastal temperatures range from 20°C to 35°C and highlands temperatures range from 10°C to 27°C. Most areas get more than 1500mm rain a year, but some can get as much 5800mm a year.

POPULATION: The overall population is 5.1 million people, with 252,500 in Port Moresby the Capital city. Population density is 11 people per square metre, with over 80% of people living in rural areas. Life expectancy (1998) is 58 years.

LANGUAGE: English, Pidgin and Motu are the main languages spoken in Port Moresby, but there are in fact over 700 different local languages.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS

CLOTHING: Tropical/Casual (but often more formal than other Pacific countries)

ELECTRICITY: 240 volts. AC/50 cycles.

VISAS: 3 month tourist visas can be obtained on arrival at Jackson’s International Airport.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: Air Niugini flies from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Honiara, Singapore, Manila and Tokyo to Port Moresby. Qantas also flies to Port Moresby.

DOMESTIC TRAVEL: The roads networks are limited in PNG and most travel between centres is done by air or sea. Air Niugini, the national carrier flies to most domestic centres on a regular basis. There are also several smaller domestic airlines which cover the remoter regions and offer helicopter and fixed wing charters.

MONEY: The basic unit of currency is the Kina (K) which is subdivided into 100 toea. The exchange rate is a floating rate. At present the value of the Kina is around AUD $0.40 and USD $0.20 Banking facilities are available in most centres though they are limited in remoter parts. Credit cards may be used at larger hotels and outlets, but most transactions are done in cash. Banks in PNG are Bank of South Pacific, Westpac (PNG), ANZ, and Maybank.

Communication

Telecommunication services within PNG are world standard and through IDD the majority of the world’s countries are accessible by telephone. Facsimile, Mobile Telephone and Internet services are available. Through Post PNG a world class postal service is provided and there are a number of international courier companies available.

TOURIST ACTIVITIES: PNG is renowned for its outstanding marine life and has some of the worlds best diving and snorkelling centres. Fishing and sailing are also popular activities. The enormous variety of scenery, from the peaks of the highlands, to sandy coconut lined beaches and smoking volcanoes, provides ample entertainment for sightseers and trekkers alike. Tourists also come to see the unique and multiple cultural heritages in PNG and there are several cultural shows held in different regions throughout the year.

For more information about tourism in PNG, including where to stay and what to do, we recommend visiting the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority website: www.pngtourism.org.pg.
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