Island Times – SYDNEY, 26 APRIL 2021 (PTI AUSTRALIA) —
The month’s Pacific Business Monitor, a regular survey tracking the effects of COVID-19 on businesses in the Pacific region by the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) global network, shows business confidence is at its lowest level since tracking began in May 2020.
Over the past 12 surveys the percentage of respondents reporting confidence that their business will survive the COVID-19 crisis has ranged from 65% to 78%.
However, PTI’s most recent April survey shows confidence levels dropping to 58% for the first time since the pandemic caused international border closures and corresponding economic slowdown.
In line with this deteriorating outlook, the April survey reports the highest percentage of respondents reporting that lack of finance, revenue and cashflow is preventing them from actioning initiatives to support their business.
Of the 51% of respondents reporting that there are barriers preventing them from actioning initiatives to support their business, 48% cited the key barriers was a lack of funds.
According to the April Pacific Business Monitor, expectations of a return to pre-pandemic revenue in 2021 have dropped dramatically with only 16% of businesses now expecting a return this year, compared to 33% of respondents in the March survey.
Temporary closure rates have risen again, with 26% of respondents now shutting their doors until further notice, which is the highest percentage since August 2020.
PTI Australia Trade & Investment Commissioner, Caleb Jarvis, said the Pacific private sector’s resilience needs to be matched by international action.
“The prolonged duration of the pandemic is taking a terrible toll on the business community in the Pacific. We have surpassed the 12-month mark since the Pacific has been cut off from customers for one of its primary industries – international tourism. This insurmountable challenge has been met by resilience and agility and the global community must do everything in its power to support and safely reopen borders as soon as possible.”
“As an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum, we continue to use the data we collect to advocate for the Pacific’s private sector at a regional level, as well as inform the design and delivery of our programs across the 16 Pacific nations we service. One of our initiatives to provide tangible relief to businesses in the Pacific is the roll out of our Freight Assistance Package, designed to support the growth in demand for Pacific goods and services in international markets by offsetting some of the freight costs incurred in 2020. Said Jarvis… PACNEWS