Boardroom briefing: coronavirus impacts, health tips and top business trends


How the coronavirus is affecting business in Papua New Guinea, how to protect your business from it and business trends for 2020. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

As 28 January 2020, these countries have confirmed cases of 2019-nCOV: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, US and Vietnam. Credit: CDC

The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) is causing disruptions across the region and PNG is no exception.

Those people seeking to apply online this week for a visa to enter PNG saw the following statement on the Immigration and Citizenship Authority website:

‘The Online Visa Service is being Shut-Down indefinitely due to the Coronavirus outbreak – PLEASE DIRECT ALL VISA APPLICATIONS TO PNG MISSIONS.’

As of yesterday, PNG’s Brisbane Consulate was responding to such enquiries by telling people to call back; they had yet to receive instructions from Port Moresby on how to handle the situation.

UPDATE: As of this morning, Thursday January 30, the site is once again up and running. Watch out for further developments as the coronavirus crisis unfolds.

Stopping coronavirus starts with us

A timely reminder of respiratory etiquette from Ann Clark from Businesses for Health Papua New Guinea that can help your business combat the spread of any emerging respiratory virus.

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The PNG health organisation reminds us to:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of it in the bin. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeves
  • Persons with respiratory symptoms may be asked to wear masks to protect others.
  • Ensure that your healthcare facility has tissues and bins for disposing of tissues in the patient waiting areas.
  • Droplet precaution should be observed, e.g. wear a mask when examining patients with respiratory symptoms.

The future is young – and green

TikTok reported last year that it has 800 million monthly active users worldwide.

As part of its top five business trends of the year, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific says that small businesses must think ‘green’ and think ‘young’ if they want to succeed.

The publication cites the popularity of TikTok, the short-video social media app, that has quickly overshadowed Twitter and Pinterest with its engaging mix of music, dance challenges and short, funny clips.

The other fast-growing sector is sustainability with plant-based protein supplier Beyond Meat tripling in value since it launched on the US stock market – but beware of just slapping a sustainable sticker on a non-sustainable product; the big change in 2020 is that consumers are getting very savvy to so-called ‘greenwashing’ when a company says it is sustainable but does not back it up.

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