Papua New Guinea Country profile

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Papua New Guinea was amongst the world’s fastest growing economies in 2014 and 2015, but slumping global commodity prices, drought and chronic shortage of foreign exchange caused growth to slow sharply and the economy to contract in 2018. The outlook will remain challenged, particularly as the government reduces spending to narrow the large fiscal deficit. A lack of foreign exchange is significantly constraining trade, with exporters to PNG reporting difficulty in converting Kina revenues into foreign exchange. It is also limiting imports of capital and intermediate goods which will weigh on domestic investment.

Long term, the development of LNG and mining projects will buttress growth. However, stronger productivity and new growth opportunities outside the resource sector requires significant improvements in governance and economic and social infrastructure.

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Despite the mining boom, PNG remains a lower-middle-income economy. Income is unevenly spread through the population. GDP per capita is forecast to reach US$2700 by 2023, equivalent to incomes in Vietnam, Laos and Egypt in 2018.

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