Episode 34 – Australia’s nearest neighbour – Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has 8 million people, 800-plus languages and over a thousand cultural groupings. Understandably, running the PNG state can be more than difficult, amplified by a swelling resource sector and huge challenges around health, education and security. But not all is an uphill battle. Over the years I’ve been enthusiastic about economic growth in PNG and the opportunities that it can deliver. From the unusual benefits of PNG’s Westminster system to skirmishes on the Indonesian border, and property rights to Bougainville independence, I hope you enjoy this primer on an interesting nation close to home.

Show highlights

  • PNG’s remoteness and inaccessibility
  • The benefit of Westminster institutions in keeping the nation together
  • The modern impersonal state and ‘problems of fit’ in PNG
  • Decommissioning the British Empire, the World Wars and PNG’s independence in 1975
  • Running a colony: PNG’s ‘kiaps’, district administrators and the colonial era
  • Being clear on PNG’s comparative advantage in resources
  • Resource companies and lineage mapping to identify
  • The setbacks of a confused property rights regime
  • PNG’s land border with Indonesia; and the potential for Bougainville Province’s independence (population 250,000)

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in the Podcast

Image source: Isaxar/Shuttershock/World Atlas

Posted in Podcast.

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