Coronavirus threatens PNG economy
15 March 2020
| EMTV | Extracts
LAE - Papua New Guinea may need to review its economic outlook for the medium term as global economies contend with the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus.
While Papua New Guineans have been debating the preparedness of the health system, and bracing for a possible outbreak, the economic burden brought on by the global pandemic could further cripple efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
As a small economy in region, the impacts are being felt in pockets across various sectors. However, this is expected to become more pronounced as the Chinese economy continues to slow down.
Heavy industry imports out of China have been delayed by two months. Staff from one PNG-based drilling contractor said machine parts ordered aren’t expected to arrive until May. Parents are being told that school uniform orders have also been delayed due to the coronavirus.
While the government is yet to quantify the impacts on tourism, there are reports of a marked drop in the number of travellers on inbound Air Niugini flights from Singapore, the main transit port for international travellers coming to PNG.
Agriculture exports are also expected to take a hit from the global crisis.
In February there was an oversupply of Arabica coffee in the global market which saw prices plunge. A dip in global coffee consumption due to the closure of cafes and restaurants will see a further drop in coffee prices over coming months.
Similar lower prices are also expected to be seen in cocoa growing provinces.
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