SUNBIZ

Global Trade Supply Hit By COVID-19 Outbreak

“The shortage of products and parts from China will affect companies from around the world and not only Fiji, as factories delayed opening after the Lunar New Year break and workers stayed home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Mr Kumar said.
23 Feb 2020 09:11
Global Trade Supply Hit By COVID-19 Outbreak
Premila Kumar.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar says the outbreak of the COVID-19 is affecting the global trade supply chain.

She revealed this during an interview with the Fiji Sun on Friday.

Mrs Kumar said businesses buying from China would be affected.

“When you talk about coronavirus it’s a global challenge.

“No one anticipated it, but it’s here,” Mrs Kumar said.

“It’s a question of dealing with it and also learning from it that you cannot always rely on one market as your source market,” she said.

“We have alternative markets where they source these items; then again the question is how soon they can source the items.

“If they have been trading with China that means it is an established market for them, things have been working for them and for them to move into a new market in a short period of time can be challenging, but it’s not difficult.

“The old saying ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ can be applied here.”

Suva Retailers Association

Suva Retailers Association president Vinay Kumar says like other countries that traded with China, Fiji was not immune from the effects of the COVID-19 in China.

Mr Kumar said Fiji imported a variety of goods from China from hair gel to kitchen sink and peanuts.

He said for the past few decades Fiji had significantly increased its imports from China.

“The shortage of products and parts from China will affect companies from around the world and not only Fiji, as factories delayed opening after the Lunar New Year break and workers stayed home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Mr Kumar said.

“We are informed that some of the markets and suppliers are opening up but at a snail’s pace with minimal staffing,” he said.

Therefore, the uncertainty of when China fully opens up for business is a worry because it will affect our imports to Fiji.”

He said there was a slight possibility that prices of some items may increase.

However, this will depend on the shipment and other variants.

“Some of the retailers and importers have already been enquiring about importing more goods from other Asian countries such as Indonesia, India, Thailand and Vietnam.”

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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