The kina is the official currency of Papua New Guinea. This currency has a subunit of 100 toea, and it was first introduced in 1975 to replace the Australian dollar. The term kina derives from the word in the native Tolai language for the callable pearl shells that were once used as the primary currency in the country, especially in the coastal areas and in the highlands. The Bank of Papua New Guinea is the central bank of the nation and is the sole issuing authority of the kina.
When Papua New Guinea was a German colony, the mark was the official currency. In 1915, the area became a territory of Australia, and the Australian pound was introduced. When Japan occupied the territory from 1942 to 1945, the Oceania pound was made the official currency during that time, but was afterward replaced again by the Australian pound. The decimalised Australian dollar then replaced the pound in 1966. The Papua New Guinean kina began circulation in 1975, replacing the Australian dollar on par.
The kina is issued by the Bank of Papua New Guinea, which was established as the central bank in 1973 to ensure monetary stability and enforce commercial banking policy. The powers of the bank were expanded in 2000 to include formulation and implementation of national monetary policy, management of foreign reserves and regulation of foreign exchange. The Bank of Papua New Guinea circulates the kina through coins and banknotes. Coins are minted in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 toea and 1 kina. Banknotes are printed in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 kina.
The economy of Papua New Guinea benefits from an abundance of natural resources. However, many of these resources are yet untapped due to being located in largely inaccessible regions and the difficulty in securing land rights from property owners in the country. Even so, minerals, such as gold, copper and oil account for 72 percent of export revenue. Agriculture is also important to the economy with 85 percent of the population relying on this sector as their primary source of income. Notable crops in Papua New Guinea include coffee, tea, palm oil and cocoa. Although strides were made in improving the economy and infrastructure in the 1990s, the United Nations downgraded their official states from developing country to least-developed country in 2006.