Papua New Guinea Economy and History

Papua New Guinea History

(Papua Niugini). State of Oceania (462,840 km²). Capital: Port Moresby. Administrative division: provinces (20). Population: 6,348,000 residents (2008 estimate). Language: English (official), hiri motu, pidgin-english. Religion: Protestants 60%, Catholics 28.2%, Anglicans 3.9%, others 7.9%. Currency unit: kina (100 toea). Human Development Index: 0.516 (149th place). Borders: Pacific Ocean (N, E and S), Indonesia (W). Member of: APEC, Commonwealth, UN, PC and WTO, EU associate.

ECONOMY

Although endowed with a rich mineral heritage and huge water, energy and agricultural-forestry resources, the State has structural weaknesses regarding its production system and considerable financial problems. Subject to the strong incidence of changes in agricultural prices and raw materials, during the eighties of the twentieth century. Papua New Guinea has experienced significant growth in foreign debt; since 1996 the government has, however, initiated a series of reforms to improve the economic structure, creating conditions of greater stability to favor private investment and increase capital from abroad, and strengthening the welfare sector, with particular attention paid to education, health and infrastructure. International bodies supported these reforms, which were subsequently followed by an improvement in tax management, an intensification of the fight against corruption and greater regulation of the exploitation of environmental resources and natural heritage. Despite these attempts, at the beginning of the millennium the country went through a serious financial crisis, so much so that in 2002 the free school education was abolished and in 2003 the World Bank has suspended its loans. In the early 2000s, however, GDP growth (which in 2008 was US $ 8,092 million, with a per capita GDP of US $ 1,306) was decent. § The absolute majority of the population is employed in agriculture (the primary sector in fact employs 72.3% of the workforce and contributes 35.2% to the formation of the GDP). For food, cereals (rice, corn, sorghum), but above all sweet potatoes (batate), cassava are grown and bananas, which are not sufficient to meet domestic needs; among the agricultural export products, on the other hand, coffee, cocoa (of which Papua New Guinea is among the top ten producing and exporting countries worldwide), tea, as well as coconut and oil palm (for which the country is the sixth producer worldwide), sugar cane and rubber. Despite its importance, the sector has not undergone any modernization, to the point that the manpower employed is in no way specialized. Forest resources are enormous and cover almost two thirds of the national territory; in 2005, over 7 million m 3 were obtained of timber, mostly exported. Fishing and livestock farming are modest, which on the other hand can have meadows and pastures covering less than 1% of the surface and is further damaged by climatic conditions. § There are various mineral riches which, developed thanks to foreign investments, represent the country’s largest source of income (despite occupying only 3.6% of the workforce, in fact, two fifths of the secondary sector participates in the formation of GDP); in the country oil is extracted (in Hedinia and Agogo), copper (present mainly on the island of Bougainville), gold (in Porgera, Ok Tedi and Lihir), silver etc; the discovery of important gold reserves which took place during the eighties of the twentieth century. has allowed the multiplication of extraction levels to make the country one of the main producers in the world (in eleventh place in 2006). The oil fields are connected via an oil pipeline to an offshore terminal; gases and hydrocarbons are also extracted. § The manufacturing activities, scarce, are almost exclusively linked to the extraction of oil and used for the processing of local raw materials; therefore there are food (sugar) and textile complexes, few metallurgical (especially copper) and mechanical plants, paper mills, tobacco factories, etc. Railways are almost entirely missing and road arteries extend for 19,600 km (of which less than 800 km are asphalted); the inland waterways therefore still play a particularly important role; the main ports are Lae, Madand and Port Moresby. Air services ensure good connections, especially with Australia, as well as with various centers in the country; international airport is Port Moresby. The country mainly exports raw materials: oil, gold, copper ore, timber, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, lobsters; while imports essentially concern machinery and means of transport, fuels, manufactured goods, chemicals and certain food products, especially meat; main trading partner is Australia (which accounts for about a quarter of exports and half of imports), followed by Japan, China and Singapore. As a whole, the tertiary sector participates for 24.1% in the formation of the GDP and employs almost a quarter of the workforce. cocoa, lobsters; while imports essentially concern machinery and means of transport, fuels, manufactured goods, chemicals and certain food products, especially meat; main trading partner is Australia (which accounts for about a quarter of exports and half of imports), followed by Japan, China and Singapore. As a whole, the tertiary sector participates for 24.1% in the formation of the GDP and employs almost a quarter of the workforce. cocoa, lobsters; while imports essentially concern machinery and means of transport, fuels, manufactured goods, chemicals and certain food products, especially meat; main trading partner is Australia (which accounts for about a quarter of exports and half of imports), followed by Japan, China and Singapore. As a whole, the tertiary sector participates for 24.1% in the formation of the GDP and employs almost a quarter of the workforce.

HISTORY

Partially colonized only starting from the second half of the century. XIX, after 1880 these lands became the object of a heated diplomatic clash between Great Britain and Germany which, with the so-called “colonial marriage” of 1885, divided the possession. The German area was, however, occupied during the First World War by Australia who in 1920 took over the mandate on behalf of the League of Nations. In 1946 the UN transformed the mandate into trusteeship always in favor of Australia. Independent since 1975 within the British Commonwealth, the leadership of the government of Papua New Guinea was assumed by Michael Somare, animator of the indigenous independence movement since 1972. In 1980 the office of premier passed to Julius Chan, leader of the Popular Progress Party, which started a more collegial power management and tried to improve relations with Australia and especially with Indonesia.

According to usprivateschoolsfinder, with the 1982 elections, won by the Pangu Party, Somare returned to the head of the government by establishing a pro-Western policy, based on support for private initiative and on good relations with Australia, Japan, USA and Great Britain. In 1985 Paias Wingti, former Somare dolphin, exited from the Pangu Party and head of a six-party coalition called the Popular Democratic Movement, became prime minister, soon torn by internal conflicts. Between 1987 and 1995 the People’s Democratic Movement and the Panguy Party took turns in power but the main problems of the country remained unresolved: from the tension with Indonesia, Irian Jaya corruption and poor national cohesion. These problems were also aggravated in 1989 by the rise of a bloody guerrilla war for the independence of the island of Bougainville. After some unsuccessful attempts to resolve the conflict, in April 1998 a new executive (led by Bill Skate) managed to sign a peace agreement with representatives of the Revolutionary Army of Bougainville (BRA) and the provisional government of Bougainville. ensure a wide autonomy to the island. A few months later (July 1998) a tidal wave caused by an underwater earthquake hit the north-eastern coast of the country, causing thousands of victims and the destruction of some villages. In July 1999 Mekere Morouta, former governor of the Central Bank, was appointed Prime Minister, replaced in the August 2002, from Somare, who returned to this position after 17 years. Legislative elections were held in 2007, won by the National Alliance with 27 seats. Subsequently a coalition government was formed, also led by Somare.

Papua New Guinea History