Business in PNG
Geography, climate, population and languages
The country comprises the eastern half of New Guinea together with hundreds of islands stretching well into Melanesia. It is extremely rugged with several mountains over 4,000 metres high, mostly covered in rainforest. It has a tropical climate with high rainfall but temperatures of around 30 degrees celcius for most of the year. Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea has a population of approx 300,000 and lies due north of Queensland, Australia. It is a 6 hour flight south east of Singapore, a five hour flight south east of Manila and a one and a half hour flight north from Cairns, Australia. Approximately 6 million people live in Papua New Guinea and the country has almost as many languages as it has islands - over 800 at the last count. Official languages are English, Tok Pisin and Motu.
History, politics and law
The north of the country was colonised by the Germans in the late 1800s and the south was governed firstly by the British then the Australians from 1906. The country became independent in 1975. A constitution was adopted which established a parliamentary democracy along with British law at that date.
Water is mainly safe, electricity is generally available in all towns but roads are basic. Port Moresby is isolated from other mainland towns by the rugged terrain. Telephone services are available in all towns. Mobile phone networks are spreading across the country and most businesses now have email and internet connections.
The economy is growing rapidly with the commencement of a major liquified natural gas project and a second about to commence. Unskilled labour is abundant. It is the lack of qualified and experienced management that continues to be a problem. The economy is relevantly open. The country welcomes foreign owned enterprises but they must be certified to carry on business here. Most overseas companies incorporate subsidiary companies to carry on business in PNG. The normal work permit and employment visa system which most countries apply to foreigners working in their countries applies here. The currency is the Kina which is split into 100 toea and there are approximately 3 Kina to the US dollar.