Lae läˈē, lī [key], town (1990 pop. 88,172), Papua New Guinea, on NE New Guinea island, at the head of the Huon Gulf. Lae is an important administrative and commercial center. Founded in 1927 to serve air transport into the Morobe gold fields in the mountainous interior, Lae continues to serve as a base for oil and mineral exploration and has retained its importance as a transportation center.

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