Trade Profile

flag Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Papua New Guinea is open to trade, which represents around 131% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country is in the process of liberalizing its trade and investment system. LNG remains PNG’s top export commodity, growing from PGK 9 billion in 2017 to PGK 13 billion in 2022 (38% increase) at an average growth rate of 6%. Gold, while the second-largest export, saw a significant decline by 14% from 2017 to 2022. Palm Oil emerged as the third-largest export commodity, surging from PGK 1.6 billion in 2017 to PGK 3.1 billion in 2022 (100% increase) with an average growth rate of 48%. Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, apart from crude, increased by 62.5% from PGK 1.6 billion in 2021 to PGK 2.6 billion in 2022. Rice is the second-largest import commodity in PNG and increased by 12% from PGK 628 million to PGK 666 million in 2022, surpassing machinery parts. Transmission apparatus for radio and broadcasting saw a remarkable 997% increase, rising from PGK 47 million to PGK 447 million. This is attributed to the entry of major mobile and ICT companies into the PNG market, including Vodafone and Telstra’s acquisition of Digicel in the Pacific (data National Statistical Office).

According to OEC figures, in 2022, exports were mainly destined to Japan (26.1%), China (22.3%), Australia (11.3%), South Korea (9.6%), and Taiwan (9.5%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (26.1%), Australia (23.2%), Singapore (15.6%), Malaysia (9.3%), and Indonesia (4.5%). The country received MFN (most favored nation) status from WTO members and benefits from preferred rights with the European Union after signing an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement in July 2009. Thus, imports from Papua New Guinea have duty-free access into the EU market. The policy goal is to maximize trade and investment by increasing exports, to reduce imports. The government is aiming to phase out the export of unprocessed round logs in the coming years and to expand domestic processing of logs to get more revenue, according to the Ministry for Forestry. For the past two decades, Papua New Guinea has been following a policy of tariff reduction, and on three-quarters of imports, where there is no domestic production, no tariffs apply.

According to WTO data, in 2022, Papua New Guinea exported goods for a total value of USD 14.5 billion, while imports increased to USD 3.5 billion (+31% and -30% y-o-y, respectively). The decline in imports was largely attributed to lower food manufacturing and capital machinery imports.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 4,1273,6615,1375,2963,019
Exports of Goods (million USD) 10,9469,07711,26914,32712,036
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,1051,6922,0222,4000
Exports of Services (million USD) 291981782230
Trade Balance (million USD) 6,7225,4877,165n/an/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of Asia -Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy
Barriers to exchanges
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Asia -Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Useful Resources
Papua New Guinea Customs Service

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Latest Update: May 2024