COVID-19 impact

Oxfam Unblocked Cash response injects 170 million VT into Vanuatu’s Sanma economy

The programme helps families cope with the socioeconomic implications brought by COVID-19 and TC Harold, while benefiting the local economy.

Sanma Provincial Council Secretary General Albert Ruddley thanked Oxfam and its partners while being updated about the programme by the response team.

Since it was rolled out in October 2020 until April 2021 more than 170 million VT has been injected into the Sanma economy.

New Caledonian businesses set for faster recovery than other Pacific Island countries

PTI New Zealand Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller said the recent release of the New Caledonia focussed report found that while the pandemic had impacted New Caledonia, the proportion of businesses in New Caledonia that were fully operational at the end of 2020 was significantly higher with 94% compared to 34% for the rest of the Pacific.

Miller commented that the heavy reliance of other Pacific nations on tourism compared with New Caledonia could account for this fact.

Small Pacific businesses continue to feel brunt of COVID-19

The monthly survey collects data in real-time and tracks how SMEs have been riding through the socio-economic turbulence since the pandemic made contact in the region in April 2020.

Newly appointed Trade Commissioner of the Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand office, Glynis Miller said “the results are not surprising as they do reflect real challenges faced by a large majority of SMEs.”

From data gathered in January, the fiscal and emotional impact of not knowing when the crisis will abate is taking its toll.

The gendered business impact of COVID-19 in the Pacific

Over three quarters (77 percent) of female-owned/led businesses reported a significant decline in revenue in contrast to 65 percent of male-owned/led businesses.

The results were published in a women-focused report in Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Pacific Business Monitor.

The PTI Pacific Business Monitor is a regular survey that tracks the sentiment of businesses from across the Pacific region.

Vanuatu agriculture to receive VT1 billion as business feels COVID-19 impact

This was confirmed by the Economic Stabilisation Package team leader, Rex Willie.

He said this money will be removed from the Employment Stabilisation Package.

“If we have problems with imports of goods or jobs losses, we have agriculture to substitute,” said Willie.

At the recent opening of the Agriculture Show in Port Vila the Prime Minister announced 21% of next year’s national budget will be put into Ministry of Agriculture.

As Vanuatu government redirects it focus, other businesses in Vanuatu and around the region continue to suffer.

New areas for Pacific investment identified in wake of COVID-19

The acting Trade Commissioner, Glynis Miller, said investment was a key driver of sustainable economic growth and the Pacific needed foreign direct investment.

The organisation said this was more important than ever given the Pacific's reliance on tourism and the way the sector had been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Investment Officer, Manuel Valdez, said Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand held a rich database of information on what he called "bankable investment projects" across several industries.

Uncertainty the key challenge facing Pacific businesses

The results have been published in the fourth  PTI Pacific Business Monitor Report.  The PTI Pacific Business Monitor is a regular survey that tracks the sentiment of businesses from across the Pacific region.

Air Vanuatu announces way forward as airline feels impact of global coronavirus pandemic

At a meeting, Wednesday, the Board acknowledged the efforts made by all the employees in Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand, from the flight crew and engineers to the front-line airport and sales personnel for their commitments during these challenging times.

Chairman Sam Firi described the strategy as “New Era, New Look,”.

COVID-19 and its likely impact on the tuna industry in the Pacific Islands

Approximately 60 percent of the raw material for the global tuna canning market comes from the WCPO. There are two reasons why COVID-19’s impact on the tuna industry should be monitored.

First, shelf-stable foods, such as canned tuna, have taken on a new level of significance for food security. Second, Pacific island countries are dependent on revenues from the licensing of fishing vessels.