Papua New Guinea Country Report
Peter O'Neill was re-elected as prime minister by 60 votes to 46 following the June–July 2017 national election. O'Neill has consolidated his influence in the new parliament, and over the next three months, will be primarily concerned with improving the government’s revenue and ensuring that the scheduled November 2018 APEC summit in Port Moresby goes smoothly. Corruption remains a concern, with allegations of fraud damaging government and opposition figures, as well as senior public officials. Disputes over landowner royalty payments will disrupt work on mines and surrounding areas. Crime levels in the capital Port Moresby and the country remain high, while intertribal conflict occurs regularly in rural areas.
PNG continues to be a challenging operating environment. Weak institutional capacity, inadequate skilled labour, limited infrastructure and tribal violence are significant barriers to business operations. These problems are very unlikely to be resolved within the next three years, particularly while government spending remains low. Road infrastructure is poor, and high rates of crime inhibit operations, with businesses often requiring additional security measures. Small-scale strikes with limited impact occur occasionally, while large strike actions are rare, likely only occurring once or twice a year. Corruption is a key concern, as senior officials are often arrested on corruption charges, and there is a severe lack of transparency in government decision-making.
Terrorist attacks remain highly unlikely over the next year, as there are no domestic anti-government or ideologically extremist armed groups in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Armed groups or individuals are unlikely to select PNG to carry out attacks, as there are very few foreign tourists or businesses. Members of armed separatist groups seeking independence for Indonesia's West Papua province occasionally seek temporary refuge on the PNG side of the border, but the likelihood of PNG being used as a base of operations for foreign terrorist groups is low.
Interstate conflict is very unlikely, but low-level fighting between Indonesian military units and West Papuan insurgents occurs occasionally on the border. Fighting between different tribes in the Highlands region remains a regular occurrence, although there is little prospect of these incidents escalating into a broader conflict. An outbreak of civil war is unlikely in the one-year outlook, but the 2019 Bougainville independence referendum may heighten civil war risks over the long term. Additionally, civil unrest is likely to heighten during PNG national elections – the 2017 election season was plagued with localised violence.
Resource projects face high risk of disruption by locals demanding compensation for land use. Violent unrest is likely in the Highlands region, where illegal small-arms are easily available. Disruption to projects caused by unrest is usually limited to several days, but protesters are likely to break into sites and damage property, as occurred in Angore, Hela Province in June 2018. Strikes in Port Moresby have the potential to cause city-wide disruption. Protest risks are likely to be slightly raised ahead of the APEC Summit in November 2018.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Papua New Guinea has a hot and humid climate, tempered by trade winds. It rains almost all year long with a respite from June to September (the dry season) and a peak of precipitation between December and March. Temperatures tend to be cooler in the mountains.
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