New Zealand – There is intense public discussion regarding a progressive lifting of border restrictions to allow trans-Tasman travel. Phase 1 (travel from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territories without quarantine) has commenced. The country has moved to Level 1 COVID-19 restrictions.
New Zealand – Key activity and confidence indicators suggest a swift return to pre- Covid-19 conditions in New Zealand. Austrade in New Zealand continues to receive increased levels of enquiry from Australian exporters. Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) will establish a presence in New Zealand from November 2020 as an initial six month pilot.
The Cook Islands – The Cook Islands ratified the PACER Plus regional trade agreement in mid-October. This means the agreement will come into force on December 14. PACER Plus aims to support Pacific island countries and encourage regional trade. Opportunities for Australian businesses will increase over time. Austrade is working with the Office of the Pacific in DFAT, Pacific Trade Invest and business chambers to develop a business-engagement strategy.
Papua New Guinea – The government’s national electrification project – which is supported by Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US – continues to provide opportunities for Australian companies. This includes contributing to supply chain and technical solution requirements. Austrade is working with multiple energy and engineering companies to help various consortia to bid for work.
Papua New Guinea –The risks and challenges for Australian companies continue, especially with restricted access to foreign exchange. A further downturn of approximately 20% in the transport, accommodation and mining sectors is anticipated. The construction, oil and gas sectors have been less impacted as a result of global commodity prices.
The Pacific – Pacific islands report close to zero occupancy rates in resorts and hotels, and the cruise industry is closed. All air traffic has either ceased or is available only on an ‘essential use’ basis. There is widespread discussion about extending the proposed trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ to include some Pacific Island nations.
Vanuatu – Freight costs have increased substantially, with the cost of sea freight increasing by 30%, and of air freight costs increasing by 150–300%.