Papua New Guinea 40th Anniversary

Economic Boom, Corruption and Crime: Where to Next?

Global Risk & Investigations Practice

October 10, 2015

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This year Papua New Guinea celebrates 40 years since gaining independence from Australia. In that time, PNG has extended its relations with its neighbours through the and has forged diplomatic relationships beyond Australia with China and broader engagement with Asia and Europe. In 2018 it will host the APEC forum, a key event in cementing its place as a developing nation engaged with broader Asia. Yet, despite rapid economic growth from harnessing its abundant natural resources, PNG faces significant challenges in its development. This article considers some of the key factors of the PNG economy and society and what these mean for the business landscape of the country.

This article considers some of the key factors of the PNG economy and society and what these mean for the business landscape of the country.

Papua New Guinea
With an estimated population of around 7.3 million, PNG occupies the eastern half of the world’s second largest island. It shares a land border with the controversial Indonesian territory of West Papua but is otherwise surrounded by small outlying islands.

Remoteness is a key feature of the landscape with approximately 85% of the population living in rural areas and some almost completely isolated. The mountainous interior of PNG means many communities have little contact with each other, let alone with the rest of the country.

PNG has more than 800 native languages, making it the world’s most linguistically diverse country. The population in diverse conditions ranging from traditional village life based on subsistence and cash-crop agriculture to more modern urban life in the main cities including Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Wewak, Mt Hagen and Rabaul.


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