By Mohamed Naser Hamdan AL ZAABI, Director of The Trade Promotion Department, United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy.
The coronavirus pandemic has sent the world into shock. Many economies have been challenged, important dates have been pushed back, and governments and healthcare systems are caught up in a suddenly panicked frenzy as they experience pressure to undo the harm caused by the virus.
The situation is dire and has created many new challenges that need to be addressed. If global powers use this time carefully, they may be able to reap many benefits from the situation that can benefit them later.
Trade and Coronavirus
Global trade has been negatively affected as a result of ports shutting down and road transportation being halted in most parts of the world. Some parts of the world have been more deeply affected than others.
Middle East – Many countries in the MENA REGION got affected of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. As a result, the county’s borders have been sealed, and trade halted. For now, the coronavirus’s impact on North Africa has been negligible due to governments having swiftly taken the appropriate measures to contain viral transmission.
2020 Forecast Amid Covid-19 Crisis
Most countries have been tossed into an unavoidable economic crisis because of the pandemic, but many are determined to rise from the ashes as soon as possible.
The African Continental Free Trade Area
The African Continental Free Trade Area was expected to launch on 1 July 2020 but has been delayed until 2021 due to the current situation. However, if African countries begin to reform themselves and participate in fair trade from now onwards, they could witness a massive economic improvement by the time 2021 rolls around, and the power of free trade comes into their hands.
The Way Forward
Countries are currently struggling to regain their footing and doing what it takes to make sure global trade does not collapse. Certain measures have been taken to promote trade, and lawmakers are considering easing restrictions and sanctions to benefit global economies.
Online trading has become the only resource for many retailers and has helped global economies stay afloat despite the crisis. Some countries are taking extra measures to make online trade easier. For example, Vietnam’s Trade Promotion Agency has begun to encourage locals to develop online marketing strategies to support their businesses. For now, it seems that online trade is the best way forward.
While it seems like the virus has spared no one, it has affected some countries more than others. However, there is hope. If wealthier countries begin to support their poorer allies and aid them in trade, global economies could see a positive shift, and the world could start to move towards normalization. Online trading should also be encouraged and allowed to flourish to help the economy regain stability.
Ministery of Economy – UAE: https://www.economy.gov.ae/English/Pages/Default.aspx