New Zealand Providing Further Economic Support to Pacific Countries
"The Pacific region is our home and there are so many links that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand. Our economic interests are also intertwined and we must continue to create mutual opportunities with our neighbours," said Mahuta in a press release on Friday.
According to her, the whole region has felt the economic impact of COVID-19, especially on tourism and hospitality sectors.
As a result, businesses, workers and communities across the Pacific will take some time to recover and rebuild.
"Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to keep working in partnership with Pacific nations on economic resilience. I am pleased to confirm that up to NZ$75 million in additional economic support is provided in Budget 2022," she stated.
The extra NZ$75 million contingency support is in addition to approximately NZ$325 million already provided for emergency budget support to countries impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.
While the Pacific is expected to return to growth in 2022, the recovery is likely to be slower than initially forecast.
"Many Pacific countries remain in the midst of their first COVID-19 outbreaks. A number still have tight border controls and other restrictions still in place," she stated.
"Due to the scale of the economic damage caused by COVID-19, the implications of ongoing supply chain disruptions, and a degree of uncertainty around international travel, it is likely to take several years before Pacific economies return to pre-pandemic levels," she added.
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