Papua New Guinea, a country of extensive biological and cultural diversity, is known for its coral reefs and beaches. Its national currency is the Papua New Guinea kina (PGK), affixed with the symbol "K." The currency was introduced in 1975 and is regulated by the Bank of Papua New Guinea. In April 1975, the kina came into effect as Papua New Guinea's official money after replacing the previous currency, the Australian dollar (AUD). 1 kina is composed of 100 subunits called "toea."
The currency's name "kina" was derived from a type of shell traditionally used to facilitate local trade. In 1975, six coins were produced upon the kina's commencement. Five of which were smaller coins, for 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 toea, while one was larger, signifying one kina. Two of the smaller coins, the 1 and 2 toea coins, were suspended in 2007. The only banknotes initially available were for denominations of two, five, and 10 kina. The 20 kina note, as well as the 50 and 100 kina notes, were introduced in 1977, 1990, and 2005, respectively. The currency features symbols of Papua New Guinea's cultural artifacts and unique fauna, like its famous Bird of Paradise. The 50-kina bill features Papua New Guinea's Parliament building together with a portrait of Prime Minister Michael Somare.
The Papua New Guinea Kina is a free-floating currency whose value fluctuates based on demand and supply. The kina has depreciated against the U.S. dollar (USD) in the past ten years, from about 2.50 PGK per USD in 2009 to roughly 3.50 PGK per USD in 2020. The inflation rate of Papua New Guinea has averaged around 5.50% between 2009 and 2019, while its per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by just under 3% during the same timeframe.
Now, Papua New Guinea remains a somewhat undeveloped economy. With a population of almost nine million, its primary exports consist of commodities such as copper, liquified natural gas (LNG), oil, gold, and coffee. Agriculture still constitutes a high percentage of the nation's economy, contributing around 20% of GDP. As a whole, Papua New Guinea prevails a relatively poor country. According to the World Bank, in 2009, almost 40% of the population lived in poverty, with over 65% earning less than USD 3.20 per day.