The latest publication for the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) has been released as PNG NRI Spotlight Volume 13, Issue 2. The Spotlight is authored by Logea Nao, Research Fellow, Property Sector Development Program.

The Spotlight article highlights that the impact of a pandemic on international trade can be via a direct link in terms of reductions in the volume of goods and services traded, or indirectly through an impact felt in the sectors of an economy which support trade, such as transport and logistics, or both.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt in various ways and in varying degrees by different sectors of the economy in Papua New Guinea (PNG). While sectors such as health, in particular, health supply and procurement subsectors have benefited, other sectors such as trade, tourism and domestic retail have suffered and may continue to do so for a while. The impact on trade has been felt in both the demand side and supply side - through restrictions in the movement of goods and services into and out of PNG including those that support the trade sector; weaker external demand due to health concerns; and weakening domestic demand.

While estimates by the Givernment suggest that the value of PNG exports will fall by at least 13 percent, equivalent to over PGK 5.0 billion, the value of the impact on the import subsector in PNG is not clear at this stage. Although the value of the impact of COVID-19 on the trade sector in PNG has been estimated through economic modelling, the true value and scale of the impact is difficult to determine due to many uncertainties. It is therefore, important that further studies are conducted to determine the full and true impact of COVID-19 on the value of goods and services exported and imported as well as the impact on the overall PNG economy.

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