Papua New Guinea - Country Commercial Guide
Building and Construction Supplies

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-11


Investment in PNG’s building and construction industry has been fueled by an acute shortage of commercial and residential real estate since the mid-2000s – initially triggered by the PNG LNG project and then by the emergence of a growing middle class.

The 2020 national budget projected that the construction sector’s contribution to nominal GDP would increase from PGK5.4 billion (USD1.6 billion) in 2019 to PGK5.9 billion (USD1.7 billion) in 2020, PGK6.4 billion (USD1.9 billion) in 2021 and approximately PGK8 billion (USD2.4 billion) by 2024. Although business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a revision of these estimates, they highlight the positive sentiment that surrounds PNG’s construction segment in general.

PNG has a fast-growing, urbanizing population in need of affordable housing. PNG’s capital city Port Moresby continues to see a construction boom throughout 2021 and 2022, with many commercial and housing developments in the pipeline. An extractives-driven boost in construction demand is also on the horizon for Morobe Province – the site of the proposed Wafi-Golpu mining project – with negotiations expected to continue once restrictions related to COVID-19 subside. As of June 2020, several real estate developers were reportedly already searching for residential development sites in Lae which is within driving distance of the mine.

Resources-related projects are likely to remain the sector’s engine, however, there have also been a growing number of residential, hotel, retail, transportation, and office developments in recent years.

PNG’s first Special economic zone, Ihu Special Economic Zone (ISEZ) is in Kikori District of Gulf Province, about OVID5 minutes by air from the capital, Port Moresby and is expected to take 10-15 years to complete with Phase 1 already completed and Phase 2 underway. The ISEZ will consist of a free trade zone, petroleum park with petrochemical plan, industrial zone, technology park, forestry park, marine park, a deep seaport and airport, a township with hotels and resorts, and a government and administration area. The PNG government has approved and agreed to provide PGK100m (USD28.5 million) to the ISEZ, with Australia and China already providing substantial amount of financing towards this zone.

The benefit of the ISEZ and other proposed economic zones in PNG are set to include tax concessions and cheaper utilities among other negotiated benefits suggested by the government.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Road and Commercial Construction


High-rise apartment buildings, office buildings, and hotels have begun to feature in Port Moresby and Lae while low-cost housing is also a priority in many rural areas throughout the country there are opportunities for supply of building and constructions materials into the PNG market. The Special Economic Zones like ISEZ provide investment opportunities for U.S. companies to invest in the construction of apartments, office buildings, retail outlets and hotels, including roads and other infrastructure within the zone. In addition, security products ranging from fencing to alarm systems, cameras, remote-controlled gates, and window and door protective grills and mesh systems constitute an important sub-sector.


  • PNG Property Developers Association
  • PNG Physical Planning Board
  • PNG Department of Lands
  • Local Builders Board