The coronavirus outbreak has affected countries across the world. According to figures from the World Health Organisation, “globally, as of 2:00am CEST, 22 April 2020, there have been 2,436,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 165,310 deaths, reported to WHO”.
To reduce the pace of the spread of the virus, many countries have gone into a period of quarantine, which requires people to stay at home, stop contact with anyone other than those they live with, and only go out for essential supplies like food and medicine.
How has the global economy been affected?
This has had a profound effect on the global economy.According to a report by the BBC, there have been “big shifts in stock markets” as “the Dow and the FTSE recently saw their biggest one day declines since 1987”. They also found that “in the United States, the number of people filing for unemployment hit a record high”and “Chinese industrial production fell by 13.5% in the first two months of the year”.
In addition to this, the travel industry has been hit hard. With countries across the world banning international travel, airlines have cancelled thousands of flights, and holiday companies have also either postponed or cancelled trips for the foreseeable future. This not only affects the airlines and travel business themselves but will have a huge impact on economies which rely heavily on tourism.
How will the outbreak affect the Asia-Pacific region?
Countries across the Asia-Pacific region are and will continue to face economic challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak. An article on CNBC explains recent findings from an S&P Global report, stating that the pandemic “could wipe out $211 billion from economies across Asia Pacific”. They go on to say that the countries which will feel this the most “will be Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, where tourism accounts for a large part of GDP”.
With tourism at a standstill, EAP (East Asia Pacific) countries will certainly feel the impact of the outbreak. The World Bank state that “growth in the developing EAP region is projected to slow to 2.1 percent in the baseline and to negative 0.5 in the lower case scenario in 2020, from an estimated 5.8 percent in 2019”. They have released an economic update for the East Asia and Pacific region that contains more information on the impacts and their response.
How can companies deal with this complicated disruption?
During the pandemic, it’s essential for businesses to quickly adapt to the unprecedented situation they face. For instance, some companies may need to change to remote working from home, by improving their electronic storage solutions and methods of communication. Some may need to come up with ways to tackle supply chain issues, while others may need to completely change the way in which they operate logistically.
As well as changing the way they function, businesses may also be able to get support from their local authority, government or otherwise. Business leaders should research the potential financial support available to them – of course this will depend on the country they operate from and various other factors.
Companies may also like to explore other types of support, such as assistance from specialist consultancy businesses such as RSM. They can help to prepare companies for the possible outcomes the coronavirus may bring. In a recent blog, RSM state that “whilst it is easy to be consumed by the immediate impact these uncertain times have on us all, we must take care to also remember the long game and make sure the right people are in place to discover and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead. Success very much depends on our ability to think differently, be agile and change the way we work in order to fit our new environment.”
The coronavirus outbreak has certainly had a profound impact on the way we work and live across the globe. It’s hard to predict the long-term affects it will have on the economy; the best thing we can do is be prepared to adapt to the challenges that lie ahead.