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Papua New Guinea Information - Page 2
History
During the sixteenth century merchants from China and other Asian countries traded with "New Guinea". Before long, navigators also arrived from Europe (Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom).

In 1884 the eastern part of the island, later to become Papua New Guinea, was divided between the United Kingdom and Germany. (The western half of New Guinea, now part of Indonesia, was claimed by the Netherlands in 1828).

At the beginning of the twentieth century the control of British New Guinea passed to Australia and during the First World War (1914-1918) Australia occupied German New Guinea. Australian responsibility continued until independence. The Territory of Papua and New Guinea was renamed Papua New Guinea in 1971.

Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975. However, the government on the island of Bougainville voted to secede from the newly independent country; hostilities broke out in 1989 and a permanent ceasefire was not signed until 1998.

Economy
Papua New Guinea has strong ties with Australia, its main import partner.

The majority of the country's labour force is engaged in subsistence farming.

Agricultural crops include coffee, cocoa, tea, sugar, coconuts, palm kernels, vanilla, sweet potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Chickens and pigs are reared. There is also a fishing industry and crayfish and prawns are exported.

Industries include mining (copper, gold, silver), crude oil production, petroleum refining, natural gas, logging, plywood and wood chip production, copra, palm oil processing and construction.

The Tourism Promotion Authority of Papua New Guinea runs a national tourism awareness programme (2011).

Arts
Crafts in Papua New Guinea include pottery, wooden carvings, musical instruments, basketwork and jewellery. Tapa cloth, made from beaten tree bark, is hand printed with local designs.

Papua New Guinea is particularly well known for decorated masks. The variety of designs reflect the diversity of the people who live on the islands.

Cultural festivals take place throughout Papua New Guinea; participants wear tribal costumes and perform traditional ceremonies.

A large collection of primitive art is housed in the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby.

Sport
Papua New Guinea is a participant in the Rugby League World Cup and has taken part in qualifying rounds for the FIFA Football World Cup. the Academy of the Papua New Guinea Football Association was opened in 2003.

Netball is played and teams belong to the PNG Netball Association.

Sea kayaking, surfing, diving and fishing are among the sports available in the coastal waters of Papua New Guinea.

Holidays
Easter, Christmas and New Year are celebrated. Independence Day (1975 - from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship) is on 16 September.

News
News from Papua New Guinea is available in Newslink.

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