Taiwan is located off the southeastern coast of China and north of the Phillipines, between the East China Sea and the Phillipine Sea. It has a total area of 35,980 square kilometers (about the same size as Indiana), and 1,566 km of coastline. The climate of Taiwan is tropical, marine, and cloudy with a southwest monsoon rainy season, and the terrain is mainly mountainous in the east with gentle rolling plains in the west.





Papua New Guinea


Papua New Guinea is located East of Indonesia (on the Island of New Guinea) and North of Australia, between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean. It has a total area of 462,840 square kilometers (slightly larger than California), and 5,152 km of coastline. The climate of Papua New Guinea is tropical, with a northwest and southwest monsoon season, and the terrain is mainly mountainous with some coastal lowlands and foothills.






Developing Country: What are Some Barriers to Development?

For Papua New Guinea, major barriers to development arise mainly from the situation of the country. Located on the Ring of Fire, the country is often subject to tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Also, Papua New Guinea’s rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure has not allowed the economy to expand to a fully “developed” state. Agriculture provides the subsistence for roughly 75% of the population, and although it is rich in natural resources, not many companies are willing to invest in Papua New Guinea for reasons such as those stated above. Another barrier to development may be the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS, which is currently the highest in SE Asia and the Pacific.

If the Country’s Current Growth & Resource Use is Sustainable, What Strategies Have Been Successful?

Papua New Guinea

Although Papua New Guinea’s current industry relies heavily on agriculture, which coupled with the rugged terrain, severe droughts, and lack of usable land results in some instability, its natural gas reserves have sparked interest in American companies. By 2010, a consortium led by major American oil companies hope to create a Liquefied Natural Gas production facility, and this project will allow Papua New Guinea to have more hold in exports to the world, and potentially double its GDP.


For GDP, Taiwan’s diversification of trade has been fairly successful. It has cut its share of exports to the US dramatically and is relying more on exports to Southeast Asia and China rather than the US. It is gradually penetrating the European market and has in the past few years joined the World Trade Organization.

Is the Current Growth, Government, and Development Sustainable? Proposed Strategies for Sustainability?

Papua New Guinea

Currently, the growth, government, and development in Papua New Guinea is not sustainable. This is due to an ever-increasing population (annual growth rate of 2.069%) and lack of profitable, sustainable industries apart from agriculture. Papua New Guinea’ s rich natural resources (mining opportunities) and tropical rainforests are constantly exploited-with rainforests being cut down for the growing commercial demand for tropical timber, and pollution increasing from mining activities. Also, Papua New Guinea faces a severe drought, and agriculture makes up the largest industry, thus resulting in a struggle to maintain crops and an economy. The government of prime minister Michael Somare, has expended much time and energy into remaining in power. Although this has created some stability, the government must still regain the confidence of investors, restore the integrity of state institutions, promote economic efficiency, and balance relations with Australia.

Some proposed strategies for sustainability include the efforts of the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program (Link: http://www.pngsdp.com/). This organization was founded through an agreement between the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, who run the OK Tedi mining operation in the Western Province. When the OK Tedi mining operation is finished in about 2013, the goal of the organization is to ensure that lasting benefits remain with the people of the Western Province and Papua New Guinea as a whole.


Taiwan’s current growth is not sustainable due to lack of space, proven by its already extremely low growth rate. Taiwan’s development is currently not sustainable. Though it is economically sustainable, its industries are being threatened by areas with cheap work forces, such as China. It is also a small island with a high population density and a lack of natural resources, so mass production, consumption, and disposal of wastes have caused high pollution and species reduction. More and more natural habitat is being destroyed. The government is maybe sustainable. Though Taiwan has a stable democratic republic two-party system, Taiwan’s political status is highly controversial. The People’s Republic of China (China) claims Taiwan’s government is illegitimate. Taiwan views itself as a independent sovereign state. With this controversial status and the fact that China is a global power holding the One China policy, most nations do not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation in order to establish diplomatic relations with China. This controversial status has not yet significantly affected government sustainability, however.

Strategies for increased sustainability include diversifying trade markets, advancing technology, strategically planning land use, building wind farms or other renewable resource generators, and increasing diplomatic relations with China.

Major Natural Resources and Economic Engines

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has a lot of potential-it is rich in natural resources, but the use of these has been hampered by rugged terrain and lack of infrastructure.

Major Natural Resources: Gold, Copper, Silver, Oil, Natural Gas, Timber,

Oil Production (Per Day): 38,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Natural Gas Production: 100 million cu m (2008 est.)

Mineral deposits (copper, gold, and oil) account for about 2/3 of the yearly export earnings.

American oil companies hope to begin the commercialization of PNG’s nearly 227 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. This project has the potential to double the GDP of Papua New Guinea. Also, Papua New Guinea’s labor force by occupation consists of 85% agriculture, with industry and services at a bare minimum. Major industry includes copra crushing, processing of palm oil, producing plywood from timber, mining gold and silver, petroleum refinement, and tourism.


Taiwan has small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos. All resources are nearly exhausted.

Foreign trade is Taiwan’s economic engine, constituting over 80% of the GNP. Taiwan is heavily industrialized. It is a worldwide leader in hi-tech electronics, textiles, machinery, plastics, and steel. It exports $254.9 billion annually and imports slightly less. Taiwan lacks petroleum and natural gas deposits so it mostly imports its fuel, but it does have significant coal deposits, though it is virtually depleted. Taiwan imports a large amount of raw food materials, and has a large food processing industry.It has a shrinking though still significant agricultural sector, being self-sufficient in many products such as rice, pork, and fish. The country is an island, so rain is abundant for fresh water.

The People: Where Do They Live? What Do They Do?

Papua New Guinea

  • The primary ethnic groups making up the population of Papua New Guinea include: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian
  • Agriculture provides a subsistence living for about 75% of the people.
  • Literacy- defined as those 15 or older who can read and write: Total Population: 57.3% Male: 63.4%, Female: 50.9%
  • The indigenous population of Papua New Guinea is highly varied and includes thousands of separate communities, most with only a few hundred people. These are divided by language, customs, and tradition, and some have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbors for millennia. The availability of modern weapons and modern migrants into urban areas has greatly increased the impact of this lawlessness and conflict.
  • About 12% of the population of Papua New Guinea is urban.


  • The primary ethnic groups making up the population of Taiwan include: Taiwanese, mainland Chinese, and indigenous peoples.
  • 58% of the people are in services, 36.8% of the people are in industry, and 5.1% of the people are in agriculture.
  • There are many top worldwide industries in Taiwan such as electronics, manufactured by big companies like Acer, Asus, and D-Link. Business in foreign trade has great presence as well in this capitalist country.
  • Literacy- defined as those 15 or older who can read and write: Total Population: 96.1%
  • The majority of people live in the north-eastern, non-mountainous region, in big cities and urban areas near the coast. People number fewer in cities closer inland and are scarce in the western part of the country.