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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea

Country Information & Lifestyle

 Songs of the Seas

Songs of the Seas

Papua New Guinea is located in the South Pacific three degrees north and eleven degrees south of the Equator and consists of a mainland and a collection of islands of varying sizes and is arguably one of the most spectacular countries on earth.

To the north of Australia, PNG is the eastern half of the world's second largest island after Greenland and is made up of a number of provinces, everyone of them totally different.

Geographically and topographically the country is very new and is situated in a zone where the earth's crust is very weak. It forms part of the Ring of Fire around the edge of the Pacific and most of the country has been formed by comparatively recent earth movements and volcanic activity.

The coastal and island regions tend to be hot and humid and some areas in the south have a distinct rainy and dry season such as Port Moresby, the capital, while other coastal areas have a wet season.

The Highlands region can be quite chilly at night although the days are warm and clear, a typical highlands cloud cycle takes place each day, clear in the morning with some local fog, followed by increasing cloud build and afternoon rains are common. The overall appearance of the country is extremely rugged, particularly in the highlands, which are characterised by sheer slopes, sharp ridges and fast-running rivers.

Enga Province features rugged mountains, high valleys and fast flowing rivers. The Engan people are a hardy race living mostly by subsistence farming and tribal warfare is still a common way of to settle inter-tribal disputes and ceremonial life encompasses the giving, receiving and displaying of wealth.

Ceremonies are presided over by tribal elders distinguished by their two meter high head-dress displaying brilliant plumes from the bird of paradise. Proud warriors painted in bright ochre dance long into the night to the beat of the Kundu drums.

Mandang Province is the most popular location for divers and consists of reef-fringed lowlands backed by some of the most rugged mountains in PNG and offshore volcanic islands. Colourful Mandang township has been called the "prettiest town in the South Pacific", its peninsula setting is a show place of parks, waterways, luxuriant shade trees and sparkling tropical islands.

Manus is the smallest province and has a vast sea area rich with marine life and beautiful coral reefs. The province consists of a group of islands known as the Admiralty Islands and a scattering of low lying atolls, mostly uninhabited with the northern border reaching the equator.

Manus is the largest of the islands and is rugged and heavily timbered with central hills rising to over 700 meters and many sharp ridges and streams.

Milne Bay Province takes in the land at the extreme eastern end of PNG together with seven groups of islands, the Trobriand, Woodlark, the Samarai Group and the Dantrecasteaux Group. The names come from a variety of explorers from as early 1660 when Dantrecasteaux sailed through and left his name behind.

The Trobriand Islands became known as "The Islands of Love" due to the Milamala, yam festival, when traditional rites are observed and the unique social system of the islands is dominated by hereditary chieftains who continue to wield tremendous power and influence.

Simbu Province in in the heart of the Highlands and is the smallest and most densely populated of all the provinces. The terrain is extremely rugged with many valleys inaccessible and has the highest peak, Mt Wilhelm in the PNG.

East Sepik Province has one of the world's largest waterways, the Sepik which snakes through the province. Dense rain forest covers the north coast and the mountains north and south of the river basin. Bird life and rain forest creatures splash their colour across the blue and green hues. The Sepik river, often compared to the Amazon and Congo rivers, presents nature untamed and unspoiled.

The Gulf Province located on the southern coast of PNG is dominated by highland mountains, lowland rivers, deltas and wide expanses of seasonally flooded grass plains. The Turama, the Kikori, the Purari and the Vailala are just some of the great rivers that flow into the swampy, delta-land of the Papuan Gulf.

The people build their houses on piles high above the muddy river banks as the river changes course they frequently have to move their villages. Cannibalism was a way of life for the fierce gulf people until the arrival of Christianity although head-hunting has not survived European civilisation, seven distinct styles of artistic craftsmanship have been categorised.

Port Moresby, the capital is the main entry point for international visitors. It is a place of sharp contrasts and opens its doors to the "Land of the Unexpected". All roads out of Port Moresby lead to delightful adventure. A two hour drive west along the Hitirano Highway is Yule island which was one of the first areas to have European contact when Catholic missionaries settled here in 1885.

All the recognised species of Bird of Paradise are represented here and in a country of four million people, with 800 different languages, PNG cannot be compared to any other country for its rich cultural diversity. There are more than 200 cultures each with different tradition and the impact of modernisation brings daily change to the country, but the majority of the people remain dependent on subsistence farming and live in small villages.

Ancient rituals are still performed for important social events usually presided over by the elders of the clan, with warriors painted and decorated in bright colours.

This fascinating land boasts more than 600 offshore islands and more than 800 indigenous languages, and is home to the largest area of intact rain forest outside of the Amazon. There is a wealth of tropical scenery, rugged mountains, white sandy beaches, colourful sheltered bays, atolls and some of the rarest shells in the world. A tropical paradise just waiting for you to discover.

Purchasing a Property

The Papua New Guinea attitude to the land is very different from many other countries. Land is not a commodity that can be bought and sold by individuals, it is a permanent and integral part of a village community.

Land is owned and maintained by generations of clans, although they cannot sell the land, individuals can hand over their own usage rights.

In Papua New Guinea only 3% of land is owned by the state. Land taxes are imposed on a number of provincial governments on state land at fairly nominal levels

There is no general capital gains tax. The Specific Gains Tax on sales of shares was repealed on 16th November 1993

Stamp Duty is levied on all deeds, share transfers and a wide range of other documents at varying rates.

Although companies are not expressly mandated by law to make a company seal, they are required to have a seal to meet the Companies Act requirements for issuing share certificates or for entering into deeds and contracts. The fee for a seal varies with its size but is about PGK 40-80. A seal can be obtained in a week.

Before submitting a company registration application the company must file an application to register its company name, The Registrar will issue a name reservation notice, which must accompany the company registration application. This will take around 7 days to complete and will cost PGK 150 plus PGK 60 stamp duty.

Under the Income Tax Act a company carrying on business or deriving income in PNG must appoint a PNG resident to be a public officer. The appointment must be made 3 months from the date the company starts business operations or derives income in the country by written notice to the Internal Revenue Commission.

Fees & Taxes

Papua New Guinea has double taxation agreements with certain countries and companies have to pay various taxes. It is extremely important before thinking of purchasing to contact an accountant and attorney.

In Papua New Guinea only 3% of land is owned by the state. Land taxes are imposed on a number of provincial governments on state land at fairly nominal levels

There is no general capital gains tax. The Specific Gains Tax on sales of shares was repealed on 16th November 1993

Stamp Duty is levied on all deeds, share transfers and a wide range of other documents at varying rates.

Departure Tax applies to airline passengers and is usually included in the price of the ticket.

Although companies are not expressly mandated by law to make a company seal, they are required to have a seal to meet the Companies Act requirements for issuing share certificates or for entering into deeds and contract. The fee for a seal varies with its size but is about PGK 40-80. A seal can be obtained in a week.

Before submitting a company registration application the company must file an application to register its company name, The Registrar will issue a name reservation notice, which must accompany the company registration application. This will take around 7 days to complete and will cost PGK 150 plus PGK 60 stamp duty.

Under the Income Tax Act a company carrying on business or deriving income in PNG must appoint a PNG resident to be a public officer. The appointment must be made 3 months from the date the company starts business operations or derives income in the country by written notice to the Internal Revenue Commission.

Departure Tax applies to airline passengers and is usually included in the price of the ticket.

Visas

A valid passport for one year after entry is required by all nationalities.

There are three types of visa Tourist, Business, (single or multiple entry) and Transit. Validity is up to 60 days for tourists, up to 12 months for business trips with 60 days maximum per stay. Details of renewals or extensions are available from the Embassy or High Commission.

Tourist visas can be obtained at Jackson Field airport, Port Moresby on arrival, however visitors are strongly advised to obtain visas in advance, this is also cheaper.

Application requirements : -
Tourist - A completed application form, one per passport submitted, two passport size photos, passport with minimum remaining validity from date of entry, return ticket, postal application should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped, registered envelope, fee, postal order or bank drafts only accepted.

Business ass above plus confirmed itinerary from travel agent.
For multiple business visas a detailed letter in support of application covering curriculum vitae, confirmation of ongoing project in Papua New Guinea, parent company's annual report and confirming possession of onward/return ticket.

For visas issued at the airport a letter of guarantee from sponsor must have been sent in advance to the Director of Immigration at the airport. Contact the nearest Papua New Guinea representative office for further information.

Working days required are 48 hours minimum for business and tourist visas. Temporary residence visas take up to six weeks or more. Applications should be made a week or more before departure.

Temporary residence is available for those entering for employment purposes, usually professional persons or those undertaking research, journalism, consultancy, film-making etc. Clearance is by the Director General, Migration Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, PO Box 422, Waigani, Port Moresby.

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