‘Pacific exporters’ confidence high’

A survey of exporters in the Pacific region has found that business confidence has increased. Although they are exporting to fewer countries, the total number of exports has risen since 2014.

The survey, Pacific Islands Export Survey Report 2016, conducted by Pacific Trade Invest (PTI), looked at the views of 200 Pacific Island businesses from 12 countries operating in more than 30 international markets.

‘A major challenge for exporters is obtaining finance.’

‘Export confidence is very positive and continues to grow, with three-in-four businesses predicting that their export orders will increase over the next 12 months,’ the report says.

The survey says exporters still face numerous barriers.

‘A major challenge for exporters is obtaining finance/capital, with two-in-three exporters stating this as a concern,’ it says. ‘This issue is more prevalent for newer exporters.

‘The PNG exports surveyed are comparably diverse.’

The proportion of business benefiting from Free Trade Agreements and Closer Economic Partnerships has increased since 2014.’

A spokeswoman for PTI says the PNG exports surveyed are comparably diverse.

‘Thirty-eight per cent [of exporters] export agricultural products, including fish and/or seafood,’ she says.

‘Half of the exporters target at least one other Pacific Island country.’

‘Twenty-six per cent export services: construction/engineering, transport, professional and business services, and 21 per cent export manufactured goods: food or beverage, textiles and clothing.

‘Fifteen per cent are in tourism, both outbound and inbound, and 4 per cent are in resources: fuel, energy and minerals.’

The survey found that half of the exporters target at least one other Pacific Island country. ‘Fiji, Vanuatu, PNG, Samoa, Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands are important export destinations.

‘Australia and New Zealand remain key target markets outside the Pacific Islands region.’

‘Seventy-three per cent predicted an increase in their export orders over the next 12 months.’

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