What is the PGK (Papua New Guinea Kina)

PGK is the currency abbreviation for the Papua New Guinea kina, the currency of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea kina is made up of 100 toea the symbol K often represents the money. The name "kina" comes from the Kuanua language for a type of pearl shell which was historically used as a currency and for trade in the region.

BREAKING DOWN PGK (Papua New Guinea Kina)

PGK is the national currency of Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea shares the Pacific island of New Guinea with portions of Indonesia. The Portuguese, Spanish, and East Asian explorers and traders frequented the island beginning in the 16th century. The indigenous people practiced both headhunting and cannibalism as part of its cultural rituals and for warfare. 

Beginning in 1884, both the United Kingdom and Germany ruled portions of the nation. During World War I, Australian forces landed on the island and captured the German-held positions there. Australian administration continued after the war as the UK transferred their territory to the Australians. However, the two regions continued to use separate administrative governments. 

During World War II fighting, the island was the site of intense battles between Japan and the Allied forces. In the years following the Second World War, the population of the nation appealed to the United Nations for independence, which they achieved in 1975. Instability of the political structures and instances of districts of the country fighting for additional autonomy have been the cause of many deaths. Cultural and religious conflicts have impacted the nation since independence. Also, border conflicts with Indonesia rock the country as Indonesian-led genocide against the West Papua population have killed nearly 25% of the group. As part of one peace agreement, the Bougainville district will gain its independence before 2020. However, granting freedom for West Papua was not done.

From an economic standpoint, the nation of Papua New Guinea has experienced a mix of both successes and challenges over the past few decades. The country has some positive qualities which are intrinsic to the geographic location and rooted in environmental factors. The country has a wealth of natural resources, and the land is fertile with minerals such as gold and copper that make it a potential treasure trove for mining. There are also plentiful agricultural resources, and a large portion of the population is self-sustaining and survives on farming. Many landowners not only provide enough food to feed their families but are also able to sell crops for profit.

Some challenges have affected the nation’s economic growth, though. Large portions of the country’s landscape are mostly undisturbed and unexplored, partly due to harsh terrain, which leaves potentially profitable areas not easily accessible. Governmental involvement and restrictions also have, in some cases, hindered development and commerce.

According to World Bank data, Papua New Guinea is a developing but fast-growing economy. The country experiences a 5.5% annual inflation rate and has a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of a 2.2%, as of 2017, which is the most current year of available data.

Design and Circulation of the Papua New Guinea Kina

The Bank of Papua New Guinea acts as the central bank for the country and controls the issuance and regulation of currency. In 1975, the Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK) replaced the Australian dollar (AUD) at par. Both the AUD and the kina traded as legal tender until January of 1976.

Today, the nation’s currency consists of paper and coins. Banknotes are brightly-colored bills which come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 kinas. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 toea, and 1 kina. In 1991, the nation began to circulate banknotes printed on polymer for improved security. As of 2014, paper currency is no longer legal tender. 

In 2015, the Bank of Papua New Guinea announced the release of commemorative currency specially designed to honor two significant national milestones. These commemorative notes honor he 40th anniversary of the country’s independence, and the 2015 Pacific Games, which the nation hosted in July 2015.

Among foreign currency exchanges, the most popular Papua New Guinea Kina exchange is the USD/PGK rate.