flag Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Papua New Guinea is open to trade, which represented 60% of GDP in 2020 (UNCTAD, 2021). It is in the process of liberalising its trade and investment system. The country exports petroleum gas (31.5% of total exports in 2020), precious metals (25.1%), copper ores (7.4%) and nickel mattes with 4.9% (OEC, 2022). Main imports are led by refined petroleum (8.6%), excavation machinery (3.1%), rice (2.6% ), other edible preparations (2.6%), and crude petroleum (2.2%).

Australia is the main trade partner (25.6% of total exports in 2020), followed by China (22.4%), Japan (20.3%) and Taiwan with 6,5% (OEC, 2022). The main suppliers are Australia (30%), China (24.6%), Singapore (13.7%) and Malaysia with 6.5% (OEC, 2022). The country received MFN (most favoured 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.

According to 2021 WTO data, Papua New Guinea exported goods for a total value of USD 9.34 billion in 2020, while imports stabilised at USD 3.75 billion, achieving a trade surplus of USD 5.59 billion. The policy goal is to maximise 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. The average applied tariff rate is 7.8%, but high tariff rates are applied to certain food and plastic products (unprocessed products are subject to higher taxes) to protect domestic producers. Inefficient state institutions and high vulnerability to international markets are key obstacles towards improved trade.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 3,0593,5193,9342,6423,024
Exports of Goods (million USD) 9,95210,52411,3999,22910,433
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,5101,6171,6301,320939
Exports of Services (million USD) 254356319178107
Trade Balance (million USD) 6,8926,995n/an/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 World Trade Organisation
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 World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Asia -Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Useful Resources
Papua New Guinea Customs Service
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea (IPOPNG) by Email.

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Latest Update: February 2023