Papua New Guinea (PNG) is rich in mineral, agricultural, forestry, fisheries, and other natural resources. These include timber, fisheries, oil, minerals (gold, copper, silver, and natural gas), and agriculture products: coffee, cocoa, copra, palm kernels, tea, sugar, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, vanilla; shell fish, poultry, and pork.
The country’s economy remains dominated by two broad sectors: the agricultural, forestry, and fishing sectors; and the minerals and energy extraction sector which accounts for majority of export earnings and GDP. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the people.
PNG’s main exports are natural gas, gold, silver, copper, nickel, cobalt, crude oil, logs, coffee, palm oil, vanilla, cocoa; copra, tuna, crayfish, and prawns. Its main exports partners are Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, China, South Korea, Philippines, Spain, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The main imports constitute mainly fuel, rice, other food products, vehicle, chemicals, machinery, and transport equipment. The main imports partners are Australia, Japan, Germany, China, Singapore, Netherlands, India, Philippines, United Kingdom, South Korea, Spain, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United States of America.
The new Marape/Steven government is placing emphasis on the diversification of the economy through policies encouraging Small to Medium Enterprises, agriculture projects and tourism. Priority is given to downstream processing for its rich natural resources, such as timber. Agriculture is also given prominence to produce food for domestic consumption (reduce import bill on rice and other food products) and also to supply the huge Asian markets, especially for countries such as Indonesia and China.
The Government is also reviewing relevant laws governing the mining industry which is aimed at maximising gains for the country and its people.
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and APEC, PNG is committed to achieving free trade and investment in the region on goods and services by 2020. Its trade with individual countries are conducted within the framework of bilateral trade, investment, commercial agreements as well as Double Taxation Treaties and other arrangements.
At the regional level, PNG is a member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA).