Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Article excerpt

Leader: Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Economy: GNI per capita $1,180 (Solomon Islands $910, Australia $43,770).

Monetary unit: Kina.

Main exports: Oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil.

Some 85% of people live by subsistence farming. Nevertheless, PNG has rich reserves not only of minerals such as copper, gold and nickel but also of gas and oil, and, though inaccessible terrain and poor infrastructure have hampered exploitation of these, they still account for almost two-thirds of export earnings. A consortium led by a major US oil company is building a liquefied natural gas production facility that it claims could double GDP and treble export earnings.

People: 6.9 million. Population growth rate 2.8% pa. People per sq km 15 (UK 255).

Health: Infant mortality 52 per 1,000 live births (Solomon Islands 30, Australia 4). The maternal mortality rate is the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, with a lifetime risk of maternal death of 1 in 94 (Australia 1 in 7,400). …

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