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Country Reports

Papua New Guinea Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Prime Minister James Marape's position is likely to be largely secure in the two-year outlook ahead of the parliamentary election in 2022. The government's main platform envisages greater revenue for the government from the extractives industry. Increasing taxation revenue through higher royalties is likely to be central to this policy, but Marape has also hinted that his government is also interested in being more involved in production, indicating intent to introduce more local content requirements and production-sharing regulations.The economy remains heavily reliant on commodities exports. Following the earthquake in 2018, which damaged LNG production, growth should pick up in 2019, to 4.0% as production from extractive sectors recovers, boosting industrial production and exports. The country adopted a medium-term fiscal strategy that targets achieving a non-resource primary balance of zero by 2021–22, restraining the rise in recurrent spending. Fiscal consolidation is likely to be a key priority of the Marape government. The landmark December 2019 Bougainville referendum indicated overwhelming support for independence, and will likely trigger several years of negotiations between the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the central government. The ABG will probably accelerate efforts to secure foreign investment in the mining sector to demonstrate the economic viability of an independent Bougainville state. A return to civil war is unlikely despite the central government's probable intent to frustrate Bougainville's independence.Mines and commercial property related to the extractive industries face high risks of property damage from unrest over unpaid royalties to local landowners, particularly in the Southern Highlands, Hela, and Western Province. Protests are likely to occur at least a dozen times each year, and large groups of protesters can cause significant damage to property, particularly through arson attacks. Commercial equipment and construction sites are particularly at risk.
Last update: February 8, 2020

Operational Outlook

PNG is a challenging operating environment. Weak institutional capacity, inadequate skilled labour, limited infrastructure, and tribal violence are key barriers to business operations. These problems are 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 occur occasionally but have limited impact, 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.

Last update: February 20, 2020

Terrorism

Moderate

Terrorist attacks are highly unlikely because there are no domestic anti-government or ideologically extremist armed groups in PNG. Armed groups or individuals are unlikely to select PNG to carry out attacks because 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.

Last update: February 18, 2020

Crime

Crime levels are very high nationwide; the capital Port Moresby and Lae are considered among the most violent cities in the world. Policing is generally poor and crime data is largely unavailable, but homicide, assault, and robberies are common in urban areas. Criminals often use illegal firearms and are likely to target Western visitors because of a perceived image of wealth. Security forces are at times complicit in criminal activities, and action to combat crime is often ineffective.

Last update: February 18, 2020

War Risks

Interstate conflict is very unlikely, but low-intensity fighting between Indonesian military units and West Papuan insurgents occurs occasionally on the border. Fighting between different tribes in the Highlands region is a regular occurrence, but there is little prospect of these incidents escalating into a broader conflict. An outbreak of civil war is unlikely, despite the 2019 Bougainville referendum result indicating overwhelming support for independence.

Last update: February 18, 2020

Social Stability

High

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. Strikes in Port Moresby are rare but have the potential to cause city-wide disruption. Protest risks are rising due to frequent punitive police actions, which increase the risk of retaliatory rioting and property damage.

Last update: February 19, 2020

Health Risk

Severe

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.

Routine Vaccinations

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).

Other Vaccinations

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.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

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.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 675
Police: 000
Fire Dept.: 000
Ambulance: 000

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019