New Zealand High Commission Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Doing business in Papua New Guinea

PNG is a rapidly growing economy with opportunities for New Zealand companies that surpass those in many other emerging and growing markets. Almost every sector of the PNG is growing and providing new opportunities for both PNG businesses and foreign companies. New Zealand is well known, well regarded and our commercial presence is being sought at both business and government levels. It is a complex environment but profit levels reflect that.

Immigration and work permits

The New Zealand High Commission is often asked to provide advice to New Zealand business travellers about the type of visa they will require to visit PNG. This is not something the High Commission can take responsibility for as the PNG Government’s requirements may change without us being aware. You should contact the for advice about the appropriate type of visa for your visit. Some visas may take longer than you anticipate to be processed so always start this process as soon as you know you will need to visit. Visas are issued by the PNG Immigration Service.

Some visits will require you to hold a work permit as well. Work permits can also take a long time to be issued in some circumstances. You will need to work in concert with your PNG employer / potential employer to get a work permit. Work permits are issued by the PNG Department of Labour and further information about work permits is available on the www.workpermits.gov.pg website.

Accommodation and travel around PNG and Port Moresby

There are several hotels ranging in quality in Port Moresby and in other centres around PNG. Most New Zealand travel agents are able to recommend standard business hotels. You may also want to check the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority website for accommodation options.

Travel around Port Moresby and other PNG cities requires you to be security conscious. Not all taxis are safe, few are metered. You should not use local buses (called "PMVs"). Very few streets are signposted, and many local residents do not know the street names. There are no useful driving maps available, and not everywhere is safe to drive in certain circumstances. It is highly recommended that you have someone arrange to collect you from the airport when you first arrive and it is not recommended that you drive yourself on your first visit. Ask your host or hotel for advice about safe local transport options.

Alternatively you might want to contact the NZ-PNG Business Council and speak with a member who has recently travelled to PNG and ask their advice. Be aware that quality hotels, safe transport companies and unsafe locations can change frequently. Always take advice from a recent traveller.

Tariffs and customs requirements

The PNG Customs Service website has up to date information about PNG's tariffs and customs obligations.

Taxation

PNG's fiscal year begins on 1 January. Some information about PNG's tax system is available on the Internal Revenue Commission's website:  but it is not always up to date. You might also find it useful to look at other publicly available information such as from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte. Both companies have representative offices in PNG, but there are also a large number of other smaller reputable tax, accountancy and law companies in Papua New Guinea.

Banking and finance

General information about PNG's banking and finance sector, including daily exchange rates with PNG's major trading partners, is available from the Bank of PNG's website.  

There are several commercial banks in PNG - the main ones are ANZ, Westpac, and Bank South Pacific. Credit cards can be used in major stores and hotels only, EFTPOS is fairly commonly available and ATMs can be found throughout main centres (always be vigilant when using an ATM and seek advice of locals you trust as to which machines are safe to use and when).

Setting up business in PNG

If you are looking to invest in PNG and/or to set up business in PNG you will need to register your business with the Investment Promotion Authority. The IPA also provides a wealth of information for interested companies including provincial and sector economic profiles, business opportunities and business investment guidelines.

Business etiquette

New Zealand and Australia often share market information on trade with the Pacific. New Zealand companies interested in doing business in PNG may also find useful information on PNG business etiquette and on setting up in business in PNG on the AusTrade website.

News

There are several news outlets in Papua New Guinea. Two of the largest circulation newspapers have websites that are updated daily with news items are:

Chambers of commerce

PNG has a well developed network of chambers of commerce and business councils and they are well worth contacting prior to any visit to PNG. The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry in particular has produced a very useful PNG Investors’ Manual, in association with the ADB. It is available by emailing them on

At the New Zealand end you can contact the New Zealand-Papua New Guinea Business Council.

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