Location: Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern section of the island of New Guinea (the western half belongs to Indonesia) and adjacent islands. New Guinea is the second largest island in the world.
People: It is a region of lofty mountains and swampy plains. The surrounding islands are largely of volcanic or coral origin. The population consists of dark-skinned Melanesians haired Papuans who inhabit the interior. There are more than 800 tribes, many of whom live in almost complete isolation with mutually unintelligible languages. Became independent on September 16, 1975, ending a UN trusteeship under the administration of Australia. All citizens above 18 are eligible to vote and stand for election.
History: More than 20,000 people have died on the island of Bougainvillea where a protest against a copper mine evolved into a ten-year-long rebellion that 13 rounds of peace talks have failed to resolve. Fighting by the government and the secessionist Bougainvillea Revolutionary Army was halted by a truce in October 97. There was a severe drought in 1997. On July 18, 1998 a devastating tidal wave killed at least 8000 people and wiped away a number of villages along the coastline.
Agriculture: Agriculture occupies the majority of the population, most of whom are subsistence farmers. Main food crops: Sago, yams, taro, manioc, and sweet potatoes. Cash crops include coconuts, cocoa, coffee and rubber. The country has large deposits of copper, gold, silver and oil. Nevertheless, Papua New Guinea remains a poor country, still receiving aid from Australia. The massive mining royalties, estimated at $ billion, also support economy.
Industries: Food processing, beverages, tobacco, timber products.
Indian Mission in Papua New Guinea:
High Commission of India
Suite No. G-5, Hotel Islander Travelodge
P.O. Box 86, Walgani, NCD,
Port Moreseby, Papua New Guinea
Tel: 00 - 675 - 3254757, 3251373
Fax: 00 - 675 - 3253138, 3201718 (R)