COVID-19 impact on the Pacific survey

As the COVID-19 situation changes, so will we.


To gain a better understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on Pacific businesses, the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) network of offices in Australia, China, Europe and New Zealand collaborated on a joint initiative to survey business’ coping mechanisms.


The PTI network has identified the opportunity to use their connections and expertise to initiate a “Pacific Pulse” fortnightly survey to understand the impact COVID-19 is having on Pacific businesses.


Survey results will help inform key regional organisations and development partners in how they can best support the Pacific’s private sector.


The results will also provide valuable insights for the PTI network and the services they can deliver to support the Pacific’s private sector.


Through PTI’s day-to-day interactions with business in the Pacific we know the impact of COVID-19 has been immense, PTI New Zealand Acting Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller says.


“We wanted to quantify these anecdotal insights to inform not only our work in the Pacific but also provide valuable data to governments, donors and stakeholders on the ongoing realities Pacific businesses are facing.


“We firmly believe this is a useful investment for the region,” she adds.

In the first Pacific Business Monitor Report, key insights from Pacific businesses have emerged, including:


– A total of 91 percent of businesses in the Pacific have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with 79 percent reporting a significant decline in sales/revenue. Fiji has been particularly hard hit by the crisis (93 percent reported significant decline in sales/revenue).


– A total of 95 percent of Pacific businesses believe the crisis will have a negative impact on the local economy.


– Two thirds are confident their business will survive COVID-19 but 48 percent do not expect revenue to return to pre-COVID levels until 2021 or later.


– There are 62 percent of businesses which need financial support to assist their business moving forward. One third of businesses noted lack of access to revenue/finance as a major barrier towards actioning initiatives.


– Top three challenges as a result of COVID-19:


1) Not knowing how long the crisis will last (94 percent);

2) Impact of closed international borders (93 percent); and

3) Poor cash flow (92 percent).


– Over half (59 percent) of business owners report the crisis has already, or will have a negative impact on their mental health.


You can view the full PTI Pacific Business Monitor report HERE.


Pacific businesses are encouraged to take part in the fortnightly surveys.

Contact Trade Development Officer at PTI NZ Riley Birtwistle Riley.B@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz to register for the survey.