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 2021 (UNCTAD, 2022). The country is in the process of liberalising its trade and investment system. It exports petroleum gas (38.1% of total exports in 2021), Gold and other precious metals (15.6%), copper ores (7.4%) and nickel mattes with 6% (OEC, 2023). Main imports are led by refined petroleum (9.92%), rice (2.9% ), delivery truck (2.47%), excavation machinery (2.31%) and motor vehicles and parts (2%).

Japan and China are the two main trade partners of the country (24.7% of total exports in 2021 respectively), followed by Australia (15,5%) and Taiwan with 6,36% (OEC, 2023). The main suppliers are Australia (26.6%), China (24.7%), Singapore (12.7%) and Malaysia with 8% (OEC, 2023). 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 2022 WTO data, Papua New Guinea exported goods for a total value of USD 10.43 billion in 2021, while imports increased to USD 3.02 billion, achieving a trade surplus of USD 6.57 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 4.6%, 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 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 3,5194,1273,6615,1373,581
Exports of Goods (million USD) 10,52410,9469,07711,11914,519
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,1862,1051,6922,0221,979
Exports of Services (million USD) 29929198178102
Trade Balance (million USD) 6,0056,7225,4877,165n/a

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

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties


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
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: November 2023

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