About Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a country of approximately eight million people with one of the most diverse cultures in the world and a human cultural evolution that has developed over more than 40,000 years.

Following centuries of maritime contact with Europeans dating back to the 16th century, German and British colonial rule was introduced during the 19th century, followed by administration by the newly established country of Australia in the 20th century.

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea came into being in 1975 and established economic relationships and engagement with economies that are now members of APEC.

The transition from traditional and community rule to a century of foreign administration, then to nation state has provided challenges and triumphs for the people of Papua New Guinea.

Part of this transition has seen societal adjustment issues that have included periods of instability in the 1980’s and the 1990’s, much of which was highlighted by foreign media and led to the formation of a stereotypical view of Papua New Guinea.

Following decades of revolving-door Governments, Papua New Guinea entered into a new period of stability from the early 2000’s as commodity prices improved leading to 14 years of successive positive growth and stability in Government.  Since the elections of 2002 there has been only two Governments and the past four years has seen a dramatic upswing in investment in the core policy areas of healthcare, education, law and order, and critical infrastructure.

While lower commodity prices have provided challenges for the Papua New Guinea economy in 2016, national economic growth is projected at 4.3 per cent in the coming year from strong growth from 9.9 per cent for 2015.


Port Moresby

Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea, with a population of around 800,000 people. The city is situated on the eastern shore of Port Moresby Harbor in the Gulf of Papua. The first European to explore the harbor was Captain John Moresby in 1873.  The entire area became popularly known as Port Moresby after the British annexed it in 1883.


The legal tender in Papua New Guinea is the PNG Kina with K1.00 worth around US$0.33.

Currency can be exchanged at Jacksons International Airport or at the PNG’s Central Bank (Bank of Papua New Guinea). Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) are widespread but most operate during business hours.

International credit cards such as the American Express, VISA, Diners Club and Master Card are welcome at hotels, retail shops, restaurants and ATM’s.

ATM’s by major banks are available at the Port Moresby International Airport and Hotels.

Electricity and Water Supply

The national supply is 240 Volts, 50Htz. Type 1: / \

Hotel tap water is filtered.  To avoid stomach upsets, delegates are to consume bottled water which will be readily available at the meeting venue and hotels.

Travel Tips

Goods and Services Tax

A 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applied to all transactions. In most cases, this amount is included in the advertised price.


Tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Most hotels and many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to the bill.


Papua New Guinea has three official languages – Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin and English. English is the most common language used in all formal domestic and international meetings.


Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places in Port Moresby, including restaurants, bars, and malls. Smoking is also prohibited on public transport carriers, and within public transport facilities.


The time zone in Papua New Guinea is AEST (UTC+10). The standard time in Port Moresby is UTC/GMT + 10 hours.

Emergency Numbers

In emergency situations, you can contact the local police, ambulance service, and fire services respectively:

Police: +675 324 4200

Ambulance: + 675 324 4200

Fire: +675 325 5188