76% of Japanese firms in Australia, NZ hurt by pandemic: NNA poll
SYDNEY, NNA - Three in four Japanese firms operating in Australia and New Zealand are experiencing negative impacts on their business operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a NNA survey.
Of the 135 firms which responded, 76 percent reported a negative economic fallout from the virus outbreak. Of those, 24 percent have seen a "large" sales decrease and 36 percent said their sales are dropping "somewhat" from a year ago, the poll conducted from March 31 to April 3 showed.
Dampened consumer sentiment, closure of retail stores and difficulty in holding meetings are among the factors weighing on operations, the respondents said.
Of the firms, 85 percent have introduced telework for employees, with some respondents noting they are having difficulty with communication and in monitoring employees' working hours.
Meanwhile, 79 percent gave a positive evaluation of measures taken by the governments of Australia and New Zealand to counter the spread of the new coronavirus.
Australia banned the entry of foreigners on March 20 and introduced a 14-day mandatory quarantine measure for all travelers entering the country on March 30. New Zealand imposed strict travel restrictions on March 23.
As of Wednesday morning, 5,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 45 deaths have been reported in Australia, with 969 confirmed cases and one death reported in New Zealand, according to government data. (NNA/Kyodo)