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Trade group report: Pacific businesses improving despite Covid-surge

By Pacific Island Island News Staff

The Pacific Trade Invest Network (PTI) has released its 16th Pacific Business Monitor report showing that the road to recovery has begun to shorten, with 52 percent of Pacific businesses now expecting a return to pre-Covid revenues by 2022 (up from 41 percent last wave).

The report was based on results from the surveys of small to medium enterprises in the Pacific region.

“This wave yields the most positive results to date," said PTI New Zealand Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller. "We note that the extent and severity of Covid-19 on Pacific businesses have decreased, with 72 percent reporting a negative impact (down from 84 percent last wave). This is the lowest since tracking began 21 months ago.”

Miller said while this was a turn in the right direction there was a long road to recovery.

“It is important to also reflect that while the negative impact has decreased, we are still seeing that 57 percent of female-led businesses reporting having barriers preventing them from actioning initiatives to support their business. This is in comparison to 28 percent of male-led businesses. While this is down from 64 percent in Wave 15, we would like to see it decrease further," he said.

“Forty percent of all employed women globally work in the four most hard-hit sectors compared to 36.6 percent. With the loss of income, many became entrepreneurs. Small to medium enterprises led by women are integral in achieving gender parity in economic participation. One of the key focuses of the PTI Network is to identify and support these female-led businesses to ensure they are receiving the assistance they need.”

The PTI Pacific Business Monitor provides governments, donors, regional organizations, and media with valuable quantitative data that communicates the realities and challenges of businesses in the Pacific in the wake of Covid-19.

The PTI Network continues to use the data from the PTI Pacific Business Monitor to advocate for the Pacific’s private sector at a regional level. The data is also used to help inform the design and delivery of our programs across the 16 Pacific nations serviced by the PTI Network.

Substantiating the anecdotal feedback received from regular discussions with businesses and stakeholders in the region, the data broadens understanding of what is required to overcome the compounded challenges that Covid-19 presents.

Key Insights from Pacific Business Monitor Report 16, September 2021:

  • The extent and severity of Covid-19 on Pacific businesses have decreased, with 72% reporting a negative impact, (down from 84% last wave). This is the lowest since tracking began.

  • 72% of businesses reported a decline in revenue due to Covid-19, (down from 87% last wave). This is the lowest since tracking began.

  • 85% are confident that their business will survive the Covid-19 crisis, (up from 69% last wave). This is the highest since tracking began.

  • The top three challenges facing businesses are:

  • not knowing how long the crisis will last (86%)

  • impact of closed international borders (85%)

  • poor cash flow (80%)


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