NZ Chamber Singapore survey 2020 findings

Author: Monica Portillo

 Virtual delivers, but Kiwis are looking for personal connections

Between 4-12 November 2020 the NZ Chamber of Commerce (Singapore) conducted a member’s survey to gauge opinion on the Chamber’s response to COVID19 and the type of activity they want to see the Chamber engage in moving forward in COVID normal. It also aimed to understand member’s views on the handling of COVID-19 by Singapore and New Zealand and the appetite for travel between the two countries.

The survey went to 274 to NZ Chamber Members with 51 responses (19%).

Overall, respondents were positive about the Chamber in 4 areas: events, content, newsletter, and connection.

The Chamber switched to virtual events at the start of circuit breaker in April 2020. Since then they have run 16 virtual events. “We want to show our members we will be here for them as we move through this pandemic, and on the other side. Our response to COVID-19 was to engage with members wherever we could” says NZ Chamber Executive Director, Rachel Boyle.

Most members are missing event-based interaction but are appreciative of the Chamber’s switch to virtual content. 70% of respondents had attended a virtual event.

There is appetite for smaller group meet-ups and virtual networking to get the connection value from chamber membership. Rachel Boyle says, “The feedback came through loud and clear that members are missing the connection benefit that you get from being a Chamber member. We will work within Singapore Government guidelines to provide smaller face to face events.”

Members see business events as the priority for the NZ Chamber, with social events an important second.

 Business Disruption

Most respondents' businesses are disrupted by COVID19. 41% of members said revenues were not affected or had grown, while 25% had lost up to 30%, and 16% had lost more than 30% of revenue.

Praise for handling of the Pandemic in both Singapore and New Zealand

59% of members considered that NZ and Singapore have managed the pandemic well and in a similar way. Concerns remain around the lack of contact tracing in NZ, while the restrictions on social activities in Singapore weigh on respondents’ minds. Business and leisure travel to NZ would both increase significantly even with a reduced 7-day quarantine into NZ from Singapore.

NZ Chamber President, Nicholas Lee, says “It is pleasing to see our members are engaged and committed to enhancing business relationships between NZ and Singapore. Given the zero rate of community transmission in Singapore, we hope that the New Zealand government will reciprocate Singapore’s elimination of the quarantine for travellers to and from our countries”.