23 July 2020

Key Insights

New Zealand – There is improved consumer confidence, following a return to Level 1 restrictions (open for business) and a recent government stimulus package focusing on ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure programs. Austrade is receiving increased levels of enquiries from Australian businesses and government agencies.

Fiji – The collapse of the tourism sector has devastated the ‘informal’ wage sector. This is having a wide-spread impact throughout the economy and society.

PNG – A rapid increase in COVID-19 infections is stressing health services. In the mining and resources sector, there is heightened uncertainty among investors following recent legislative amendments that have impacted confidence. A failure to negotiate improved outcomes is now leading to international arbitration.

Market opportunities

New Zealand – Austrade is receiving an increase in trans-Tasman enquiries, partly in anticipation of a gradual lifting of border restrictions. Enquiries relate to three sectors in particular: defence and advanced manufacturing (DAMS); agrifoods; and health. Enquiries about the DAMS sector are focused on supply chain opportunities.

PNG – Australian engineering companies engaged in a A$10 billion road-infrastructure program are seeking partnerships with Australian roads companies. The geography in PNG is challenging and will require new technologies and equipment. Long-term maintenance programs are attached to the initial capital projects, which could generate reliable long-term revenue.

The Pacific – With revenues under strain, governments across the Pacific are urgently exploring alternative financing options, including Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Austrade New Zealand–Pacific is actively working with DFAT, commercial infrastructure providers and some pacific SOE’s to explore PPP options. Currently, there appear to be good prospects for PPP projects in infrastructure sectors such as roads, water and wastewater treatment and energy.

Contact: Craig Knowles. +64 (0) 21 2222 801

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