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Port Moresby on the Move

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Google Papua New Guinea and you will net a mixed bag of search results covering the cultural diversity of the nation, facts about the country’s geography and travel advice warnings. But look a little further into the growth expectations of this country of around 6.8 million people and you may be surprised to find that Papua New Guinea provides interesting opportunities for trade. In comparison to other Pacific island countries, PNG has been in a reasonably strong economic position over the past few years and strong economic growth is expected to continue with projects that will drive trade. The country is richly endowed with natural resources and, while issues such as rugged terrain, the system of land title and the high cost of developing infrastructure has hampered growth efforts in the past, companies such as ExxonMobil which is running an LNG project are seeing the benefits of operating in Papua New Guinea. This project alone is expected to provide an increase of 15 to 20 percent in GDP per annum. Mineral deposits such as oil, copper and gold, account for over 70 percent of all export earnings from PNG but the country also has notable coffee, cocoa, tea, timber and fish exports. What will be most interesting to watch for Australian exports will be the growth of imports into the country of building materials, chemicals and machinery, fuelled by the big mining projects, as well as consumer items such as foodstuffs and electrical goods that come with the expected population growth, driven by the additional jobs that the large projects will create in the area. -Len Phillips is Business Development Manager responsible for Maersk Line services in the Pacific Islands region at Maersk Australia Pty Ltd.

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