Papua New Guinea's traditional trading partners have been consistent for both exports and imports since the
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Papua New Guinea|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
early 1970s. Prior to independence in 1975, Australia was the main buyer of Papua New Guinean exports, and while this relationship has continued, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and New Zealand have since played major roles as importers of Papua New Guinean goods. In 1998 20 percent of Papua New Guinea's goods went to Australia, 13 percent to Japan, 7 percent to Germany, 5 percent to South Korea, 4 percent to the Philippines, and 3 percent to the United Kingdom. Traditionally, the major exports to these countries have been cash crops such as copra, cocoa, and coffee. Australia has been a major buyer of Papua New Guinea's gold. Minerals are also exported to such countries as Japan and Germany. Papua New Guinea purchases most of its imports (machinery, foods, and technology) from these same countries, and especially from Australia. In 1998 Australia accounted for 51 percent of the country's imports, Singapore 10 percent, Japan 8 percent, the United States and New Zealand 5 percent, and Malaysia 3 percent. In 1999 the country enjoyed a positive trade balance of nearly a billion dollars on exports of US$1.9 billion and imports of US$1.0 billion.