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What is the Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Papua New Guinea a B1 rating, with a stable outlook. Finally, S&P last issued a B+ rating, with a stable outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.


In 2010 the total GDP was $9,480,047,958 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $1,382. It grew by 8.00% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2004 is 1.80%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 129.69.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth IIGovernor-General Sir Michael Ogio (in a ceremonial role).

Currency Details

The Kina, denoted by PGK, is the national currency of Papua New Guinea. The currency, which is made of 100 Toea, was first introduced on April 19, 1975 supplanting the Australian dollar. The coins in circulation are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 20 and 50 Toea as well as 1 Kina. Banknotes that are in circulation include the 2 Kina, 5 Kina, 10 Kina, 20 Kina, and 50 Kina notes.

Sovereign Ratings for Papua New Guinea

Moody’s Rating
B1, 16 Jul 1999
S&P Rating

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Papua New Guinea’s political system is a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy. The government is divided into three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches. The executive branch consists of the chief of state, head of government, and cabinet. The chief of state is the reigning monarch at the time that is often represented by the governor general. The head of government is the prime minister and the cabinet is the National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister. The legislative branch consists of a unicameral National Parliament that is sometimes referred to as the House of Assembly. The House of Assembly consists of 109 seats that are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The judicial branch is the Supreme Court whose chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the proposal of the National Executive Council after consultation with the minister responsible for justice. The other judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by governor general Sir Paulias MATANE (since 29 June 2004) Head of Government Prime Minister Sir Michael SOMARE (since 2 August 2002); Deputy Prime Minister Puka TEMU (since 29 August 2007) Cabinet National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister Elections the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is nominated by parliament and appointed by the chief of state; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition usually is appointed prime minister by the governor general acting in accordance with a decision of the parliament

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

Papua New Guinea has an abundance of natural resource; however, their exploitation has been hindered by the rugged terrain and high cost of developing infrastructure. Subsistence agriculture provides for 85% of the population. 72% of export earnings are through mineral deposits including oil, copper, and gold. Australia supplies an annual aid package of 0 million which accounts for 20% of the national budget. Papua, however, still faces economic challenges as Prime Minister Michael Somare attempts to gain further investor confidence, continue efforts to privatize government assets, maintain the support of Parliament, and balance relations with Australia.


Copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production, mining of gold, silver, and copper, crude oil production, construction and tourism.

Import Commodities:

Machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels and chemicals.

Export Commodities:

Oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish and prawns.

Agriculture – products:

Coffee, cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, tea, rubber, sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables, poultry and pork.

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