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    Papua New Guinea

    [Country map of Papua New Guinea]


    Location: Southeastern Asia, 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

    Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 147 00 E

    Map references: Oceania

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

    Area - comparative: slightly larger than California

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

    Coastline: 5,152 km

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

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

    Terrain: mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills

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

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

    Land use:
    arable land : 0.1%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 0%
    forests and woodland: 92.9%
    other : 6% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: NA sq km

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

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

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to : Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

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


    Population: 4,496,221 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years : 40% (male 921,227; female 874,290)
    15-64 years: 57% (male 1,338,483; female 1,229,180)
    65 years and over: 3% (male 61,082; female 71,959) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 2.28% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 32.65 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 9.83 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 58.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 57.65 years
    male: 56.78 years
    female: 58.56 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 4.36 children born/woman (1997 est.)

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

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

    Religions: Roman Catholic 22%, Lutheran 16%, Presbyterian/Methodist/London Missionary Society 8%, Anglican 5%, Evangelical Alliance 4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1%, other Protestant sects 10%, indigenous beliefs 34%

    Languages: English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region
    note: 715 indigenous languages

    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population : 72.2%
    male: 81%
    female: 62.7% (1995 est.)


    Country name:
    conventional long form : Independent State of Papua New Guinea
    conventional short form: Papua New Guinea
    abbreviation: PNG

    Data code: PP

    Government type: parliamentary democracy

    National capital: Port Moresby

    Administrative divisions: 20 provinces; Bougainville, 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

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

    National holiday: Independence Day, 16 September (1975)

    Constitution: 16 September 1975

    Legal system: based on English common law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Wiwa KOROWI (since 11 November 1991)
    head of government : Acting Prime Minister John GIHENO (since 27 March 1997); Acting Deputy Prime Minister Andrew BAING (since 27 March 1997); note - John GIHENO and Andrew BAING assumed the respective posts of acting prime minister and acting deputy prime minister after Prime Minister Sir Julius CHAN (in office since 30 August 1994) and Deputy Prime Minister Chris HAIVETA (in office since 7 September 1994) were required to step down during an inquiry into the government's hiring of mercenaries to assist the Papua New Guinea Defense Forces against Bougainville rebels; the inquiry is scheduled to conclude on 30 May 1997
    cabinet: National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
    elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the National Executive Council; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general for up to five years on the basis of majority support in National Parliament

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament - sometimes referred to as the House of Assembly (109 seats - 89 elected from open electorates and 20 from provincial electorates; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 13-26 June 1992 (next to be held 14-28 June 1997)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Pangu Party 24, PDM 17, PPP 10, PAP 10, independents 30, others 18; note - association with political parties is fluid

    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

    Political parties and leaders: Papua New Guinea United Party (Pangu Party), Chris HAIVETA; People's Democratic Movement (PDM), Roy YAKI; People's Action Party (PAP), Ted DIRO; People's Progress Party (PPP), Sir Julius CHAN; Melanesian Alliance (MA), Fr. John MOMIS; People's United Party (PUP), David UNASI; National Party (NP), Mathias IJAPE; United Party (UP), Paul TORATO; Papua Party (PP), Galeva KWARARA; National Alliance (NA), Sir Michael SOMARE; Movement For Greater Autonomy, Stephen POKAWIN; Black Action Party (BAP), John WAIKO; League for National Advancement (LNA), Thomas PELIKA

    International organization participation: ACP, APEC, AsDB, C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Nagora Y. BOGAN
    chancery: 3rd floor, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 745-3680
    FAX : [1] (202) 745-3679

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arma Jane KARAER
    embassy: Douglas Street, Port Moresby
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1492, Port Moresby
    telephone : [675] 321-1455
    FAX: [675] 321-3423

    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


    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 an 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. A second phase structural adjustment loan will be negotiated in 1997. The structural adjustment program includes liberalization of trade and investment policies, sustainable development of the forestry sector, improvement of government planning capacity and better delivery of public services. New gold and oil projects are under development and planned to begin production in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $10.7 billion (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 2.3% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,400 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture : 27%
    industry: 42%
    services: 31%

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 6% (1996 est.)

    Labor force:
    total: 1.941 million
    by occupation: agriculture 64% (1993 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    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 - capacity: 252,000 kW (1992)

    Electricity - production: 1.71 billion kWh (1994)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: 382 kWh (1995 est.)

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

    total value: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
    commodities: gold, copper ore, oil, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, lobster
    partners : Australia, Japan, US, Singapore, New Zealand

    total value: $1.3 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.)
    commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
    partners : Australia, Japan, UK, New Zealand, Netherlands

    Debt - external: $3.2 billion (1995)

    Economic aid:
    recipient: ODA, $291 million (1993); $240 million bilateral aid from Australia (FY96/97 est.); $4.1 million ODA from NZ (FY95/96)

    Currency: 1 kina (K) = 100 toea

    Exchange rates: kina (K) per US$1 - 0.7451 (December 1996), 0.7588 (1996), 0.7835 (1995), 0.9950 (1994), 1.0221 (1993), 1.0367 (1992); note - the government floated the kina on 10 October 1994

    Fiscal year: calendar year


    Telephones: 63,212 (1986 est.)

    Telephone system: services are adequate and being improved; facilities provide radiotelephone and telegraph, coastal radio, aeronautical radio, and international radio communication services
    domestic: mostly radiotelephone
    international: submarine cables to Australia and Guam; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); international radio communication service

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 31, FM 2, shortwave 0

    Radios: 298,000 (1992 est.)

    Television broadcast stations: 1

    Televisions: 10,000 (1992 est.)


    Railways: 0 km

    total : 19,400 km
    paved: 660 km
    unpaved: 18,740 km (1995 est.)

    Waterways: 10,940 km

    Ports and harbors: Kieta, Lae, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul

    Merchant marine:
    total: 12 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 22,614 GRT/29,643 DWT
    ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 3, combination ore/oil 5, container 1, roll-on/roll-off 1 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 451 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total : 387
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 4
    under 914 m: 370 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 64
    1,524 to 2,437 m : 12
    914 to 1,523 m: 52 (1996 est.)

    Heliports: 2 (1996 est.)


    Military branches: Papua New Guinea Defense Force (includes Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, and Special Forces Unit)

    Military manpower - availability:
    males age 15-49: 1,174,591 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service:
    males: 653,179 (1997 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $63 million (1997); note - includes $12 million to cover leftover 1996 expenditures

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: none