Papua New Guinea 2006
Papua New Guinea. At the beginning of the year came an international report warning that Papua New Guinea’s natural rainforests were threatened by eradication through illegal logging. Above all, Malaysian forest companies were identified as lawbreakers. According to the report, timber is mainly exported to China and is widely used for products sold to the western world. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Papua New Guinea include Independence Day (September 16) and New Year (January 1). Papua New Guinea’s legislation is sufficient to protect the rainforests, but it is not being enforced. Papua New Guinea has some of the world’s largest rainforest areas.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 30,190,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||2.50%|
|GDP per capita||3,700 USD|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||37%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||4.80%|
|Investment volume||16.1% of GDP|
|National debt||36.90% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||1,800,000,000 USD|
|Number of visitors||182,000|
In August, the government introduced a state of emergency in the province of Southern Highlands, where large deposits of gas are to be extracted for export to Australia. Papua New Guinea’s central government accused the provincial government of corruption and ordered military and police to establish law and order, as it was called. A local politician threatened to block the gas project with the help of landowners in the area. He also urged foreign investors to stay away.
In September, the Minister of Health stated that the spread of HIV has reached alarming proportions in some parts of Papua New Guinea. Experts feared that the country might be heading for a disaster similar to that in southern Africa. HIV is spread in Papua New Guinea mainly through heterosexual contacts. The inferior position of women makes it difficult for them to refuse unprotected sex. In many places, witchcraft and sorcery are still considered to be the cause of AIDS, and it is difficult to get information out in a community with around 800 different languages and where most residents cannot read.
Papua New Guinea ended up in a diplomatic conflict with Australia during the latter part of the year. A lawyer arrested for sexual abuse was helped to escape from Papua New Guinea to his homeland Solomon Islands when Australia wanted him extradited. Australia responded by severing ministerial-level contacts with Papua New Guinea. Prime Minister Michael Somare described the Australian government as superior and culturally insensitive.