Businesses slowly on the rise

A survey tracking the effects of COVID-19 on businesses in the Pacific region indicates that while the impact of COVID-19 on businesses across the Pacific has remained relatively stable, Pacific business engagement in e-commerce is on the rise, an optimistic step towards a more resilient economic future. Picture: SUPPLIED

A survey tracking the effects of COVID-19 on businesses in the Pacific region indicates that while the impact of COVID-19 on businesses across the Pacific has remained relatively stable, Pacific business engagement in e-commerce is on the rise, an optimistic step towards a more resilient economic future.

Pacific Trade Invest’s November issue of the Pacific Business Monitor showed that only 42 per cent of survey respondents faced any form of barriers when attempting to action initiatives required supporting their business, which is down from 44 per cent during the last wave.

According to a statement from the PTI Australia, the recent survey shows 82 per cent of respondents cite the impact of closed international borders as a challenge to their business, which is the lowest since March 2021.

PTI Australia Trade and Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis said while the seriousness and gravity of the challenges faced by the Pacific were indisputable, the COVID-19 crisis had also provided a catalyst towards digitisation across the Pacific region.

“The pandemic has inevitably forced a rethink of priorities and, through necessity, has propelled invention and innovation across the Pacific, bringing themes of digitisation, sustainability, and inclusion to the fore.

“As the Pacific begins to navigate this new normal, we can see through our Pacific Business Monitor series that businesses and consumers have accelerated their participation in all things “digital” further allowing them to continue to connect, work, learn, and exchange goods and services as they pivot towards online and e-commerce solutions,” said Mr Jarvis.

He said the top three initiatives that businesses were calling for assistance in were financial support, assistance diversifying their products and services and support in e-commerce implementation.

He added that the Pacific Business Monitor series provided valuable information for partners working in the region to ensure that they were delivering programs targeted to the needs of the Pacific Private sector.

According to the PTI since tracking began in May 2020, between 12 and 29 per cent of respondents have consistently reported their business as having pivoted to sell or do more online in response to the impact of COVID-19.

This month’s survey saw an increase to 35 per cent, the highest level since tracking began.

According to the November Pacific Business Monitor, businesses are less optimistic about a return to pre-COVID-19 revenue levels before the end of the year, with 39 per cent of respondents not expecting this recovery until 2022.

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