Economy to recover by 2023: Govt

Monday June 29, 2020 Written by Published in Economy

It will take about three years for the Cook Islands economy to return to pre-Covid-19 levels, government economists predict.

They estimate the economy has contracted by nine per cent from an average growth of 5.8 per cent annually due to the spread of Covid-19 in the third quarter of the 2019/20 financial year which led to the crippling of the tourism industry.

This has reduced the gross domestic product of the country to $483.3 million from the projected $531.2 million.

The economy is expected to contract further by 5.3 per cent in the coming financial year before returning to pre-pandemic level by 2023, the economists say.

Fletcher Melvin, the chair of Private Sector Force, agrees the country could be returning to pre-Covid-19 level close to 2023.

He said these were all reasonable assumptions based on the “growth assumptions of tourism arrivals and the boarder opening up later this year and the reserves in place”.

However Melvin warns the danger is the delay in the border opening and the tourists having the discretionary funds available for holidays due to the New Zealand economy and the global provider.

Cook Islands has been seeking a travel bubble with New Zealand soon to help recover the local economy. But new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand due to quarantine botch-ups there has put any immediate travel bubble in limbo.

New Zealand’s Health ministry yesterday confirmed two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities in the country.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there are still no cases reported from the community.

Both cases have been in managed isolation since they arrived and are now in the quarantine facility in Auckland, Dr Bloomfield said.

One is a man in his 50s who arrived in NZ from India on 24 June - his result came from day 3 testing.

The second is a woman in her 20s who arrived from the US on 18 June, the wife of a previous case who tested positive on 22 June and was already in quarantine as she was considered a close contact.

>Additional reporting RNZ

3 comments

  • Comment Link Jude Wadsworth Tuesday, 30 June 2020 08:37 posted by Jude Wadsworth

    My comment related totally to incorrect or exaggerated reporting which is constant in NZ. The border will be open when the leaders of both countries consider it safe. My personal opinion is that The Cook Islands have done extremely well in keeping their people safe and I would like to see it stay like that.

  • Comment Link Rob Grant Monday, 29 June 2020 16:18 posted by Rob Grant

    Hi Jude is it possible to open nz borders up to a covid free country. Why are we waiting. NZ is as you clearly say has not botched the quarantine. Then why is it so hard for Winston Peters who on June 16 said that the pacific bubble was due very soon gone into hiding.
    Political BS from labour government is all it can be . My view.

  • Comment Link Jude Wadsworth Monday, 29 June 2020 13:30 posted by Jude Wadsworth

    There were two cases because a couple of woman were allowed to go to be with family following a family bereavement. hey have now tested negative and there are no new cases from this. The most recent cases are all from people returning home into managed isolation and being tested on day 3 and day 12 of that isolation and the day 12 result must be returned as negative before they leave. Misleading to put " But new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand due to quarantine botch-ups there has put any immediate travel bubble in limbo".

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