Pacific exporters’ confidence high, says survey


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 number of PNG companies surveyed has increased since 2014. Source: Pacific Trade Invest

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.’

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

Annual revenue of exporters surveyed. Source: Pacific Trade Invest

PNG exports

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.’

The companies surveyed have ambitions to expand. ‘The majority of exporters (86 per cent) are planning to enter a new market over the next three years, with Asia (38 per cent) and North America (26 per cent) a major focus.

‘Agricultural businesses export to fewer countries in general compared with other industry sectors.’

Increased orders

The survey looked at the characteristics of the new entrants into the export markets.

‘Businesses that have been exporting for three years or less tend to be smaller, with younger proprietors.

‘More are looking to improve speed of delivery.’

‘Women proprietors are the most common in this group (32 per cent versus 27 per cent in total) showing a higher participation of women in the sector in the more recent years.’

The survey found that 73 per cent predicted an increase in their export orders over the next 12 months.

‘This was a significant increase from 2014 (57 per cent). While the increase in confidence is mainly driven by newer exporters and those exporting agricultural products, there is an increase across exporters at all stages of maturity and industry sectors.’

The survey found that more exporters are looking to develop new products and services for export markets (44 per cent compared with 36 per cent in 2014).

More are looking to improve speed of delivery (32 per cent versus 21 per cent in 2014) and to implement new technology platforms (27 per cent versus 20 per cent in 2014).

Export destinations for Pacific Island countries. Source: Pacific Trade Invest

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