A new survey has found that most Pacific-based funds have maintained a long-term investment focus as they look beyond the immediate impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, and overcame the concern about short-term losses.
The survey conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) showed they have stepped up with vital support for financial systems in the Pacific Island countries. These efforts include providing social protection and other financial supports, complementing government actions.
As the economic crisis in the pacific sparked by Covid-19 urged prompt region-wide preventive measures, which collectively have 8.8 billion assets under management, is assessing options for investment in regional infrastructure for broader economic benefits and economic recovery.
The survey showed many funds assisted their members by offering withdrawals to assist them in the crisis, allow temporary reduction of contributions, and eased repayment obligations. Some funds provided credits to the government through the purchase of government bonds.
“Pacific funds provided crucial support during a time of need, helping members, employees and governments weather the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic”, said PIIF chairman and Samoa National Provident Fund CEO, Pauli Prince Suhren.
“They will now be key players in the resilient recovery of our region, with prudent and flexible approaches to investing to create better returns for the many people across Pacific, who are their members”.
PIIF members are also working with IFC and World Bank, looking for best ways to make Inter-Pacific investments in service and infrastructure.
PIIF also focuses on investments that would bridge the region’s huge infrastructure gap. It is estimated at US$45 billion over twelve years.
“Investing in infrastructure can generate good returns while also delivering broader economic and development benefits”, said Thomas Jacobs, IFC Country Manager, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Pacific Islands.
“It’s worth noting that there are enormous investment opportunities in this region, including infrastructure, and that Pacific funds are in a good position to partner with government and private sector as we look towards recovery and building back better”.