HQTS: Latest Supply Chain & Trade Updates across Asia – Report #4

HQTS maintains a wide range of service locations across Asia. As such, we have collected important supply chain and trade-related information to help you understand the current situation affecting your business. Below is the latest in our series.

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Since April 2020, most factories and foreign trading enterprises in all major cities of China have been functioning normally. As of April 15th, the worker return rate for large industrial enterprises all over China has reached 99%. The worker return rate for small and medium enterprises is currently above 84%.

According to data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, nearly 90% of national logistics parks have recovered over 70% of regular businesses, compared to the same period last year.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

The Government of Bangladesh declared the entire country at risk of COVID-19, as the virus has spread across the country. As such, the government extended the ongoing general holiday until April 25th.

Financial and trading policies:

The government increased the COVID-19 stimulus package to roughly US 8.5 billion or around 2.5% of the GDP. The package will target farmers, day laborers, rickshaw pullers and small traders, as well as the country’s larger commerce and industries to reduce the impact of the virus-drive lockdowns.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

The Indian government extended lockdown to May 3rd. However, certain businesses in low-risk areas may resume activity on April 20th.

Financial and trading policies:

India’s government announced its first economic stimulus plan of USD 22.6 billion. It will focus on emergency cash transfers to the most vulnerable populations, along with providing free food grains, pulses, and cooking gas for three months in a bid to cushion the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and economic disruption caused by the disease. India is likely to announce a second stimulus package in the coming days. It will amount to roughly USD 13 billion and focus on helping small and medium businesses the weather the coronavirus outbreak.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

Vietnam extended social isolation measures at least until April 22nd for high-risk localities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang City. Depending on the situation, these may be further extended to the end of the month. However, other areas are seeing looser social distancing measures allowing some industries and businesses to resume operations from April 16th.

Financial and trading policies:

In the first quarter of 2020, 1,523 companies were dissolved in Ho Chi Minh City due to the severity of the economic impact of the virus. Vietnam’s government approved a plan to export 400,000 tons of rice in April after rice exports were previously suspended.

The State Bank of Vietnam cut its policy rates and directed banks to extend debt relief to affected borrowers while easing requirements on loan classification and provisioning.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

Malaysia extended the restriction on movement and travel for a further two weeks until April 28th.

Financial and trading policies:

Malaysia expects travel, tourism, and associated sectors to be the hardest hit by the epidemic. Oil and Gas, and other export-oriented industries will also see a serious drop. The travel and tourism industry is a crucial contributor to Malaysia’s economy, with travel alone accounting for nearly 50% of Malaysia’s export trade in services. Lower output of crude oil and natural gas are expected to affect the revenues from energy exports.

The Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture established a Tourism Recovery Committee to prevent coronavirus fears in tourists and find new markets to attract tourists into the country to offset the drop in Chinese tourists.


The Philippines 

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

The government extended the lockdown Luzon Island, including Manila, until the end of April. During the lockdown, all domestic transportation including land, air, and the sea is under suspension.

Financial and trading policies:

With more than 400 economic zones under lockdown, approximately 700 factories have been shut down, displacing hundreds of workers. The Philippine government set aside funds to battle the coronavirus outbreak until the end of May to protect citizens and businesses from its impact. The funds are expected to be drawn from non-budgetary sources.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Singapore’s government announced heightened safe-distancing measures to pre-empt escalating infections of COVID-19 from April 7th to May 4th. Only essential services that support daily needs will remain open, with safe-distancing measures in place. Other non-essential services and retail outlets, such as recreation venues, sports, and recreation facilities, will be closed.

The government announced that from March 16th, all residents, long-term pass holders and short-term visitors entering Singapore will receive a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and must always remain in their place of residence for 14 days.

Financial and trading policies:

On April 6th, the government announced an additional supplementary budget, which will further help families tide through the Circuit Breaker phase between April 7th and May 4th, including an additional $300 cash payout for every adult Singaporean.

The government also announced measures to support workers during this period and help firms retain their employees. This includes payment of 75% of the first $4,600 of monthly salaries for all local employees by the government for April 2020.

The country is preparing to house hundreds of foreign workers in accommodation vessels typically used for offshore and marine industry staff.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

Indonesia barred foreign nationals from entering the country as the world’s fourth-most populous country stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The travel ban also includes foreigners transiting through the country.

Indonesia approved a request by the Jakarta administration to impose further large-scale social restrictions on the capital. These include limiting religious events, defense-related activities, socio-cultural activities, and the closing of schools and workplaces.

Financial and trading policies:

The government declared the COVID-19 pandemic a National Non-Natural Disaster, which allows the government to invoke certain powers, such as relaxing the ease of entry for international aid, as well as to generate or allocate funds from the state coffers.

The Indonesian government has taken steps to expand room for policy maneuvers, which will reduce its fiscal buffers. It has also issued allowances to expand production, ease goods delivery processes, and tax incentives for the delivery of local raw materials.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operations:

Thailand announced a state of emergency on March 26th and until April 30th. The government extended its ban on incoming passenger flights until the end of April.

Financial and trading policies:

The Thai cabinet approved 3 phrases of stimulus packages to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The most recently announced package on April 7th will inject US 3.2 billion to increase liquidity for businesses and individuals.

For SMEs, the government is issuing loans up to THB 3 million at a 3% interest rate for the first two years. Companies may also file their corporate income tax later in the year.

For individuals, the government issued THB 5,000 a month for three months for approximately three million workers not covered by the Social Security Fund, and THB 10,000 emergency loan per person at 0.1% monthly interest.



Restriction policies on traveling, logistics, and business operations:

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the lockdown will last at least until April 30th. The lockdown has helped to prevent the number of COVID-19 infection cases and deaths by an estimated 30%.

In the meanwhile, Pakistan’s government will reopen several “low-risk” industries, including construction, agriculture, e-commerce, paper, and packaging.

Financial and trading policies:

Pakistan’s Cabinet approved a USD 72 million relief package to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis in the country, specifically targeting low-wage workers and other vulnerable populations.

The Government also issued a USD 600 million Emergency Fund, which includes support for daily wage earners and laborers. The Federal Bureau of Revenue will further provide USD 450 million in tax refunds. Industries including textiles, transportation and medical will also receive government support.


About HQTS

With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance, HQTS is ready to help your business build meaningful and robust supplier relationships across Asia. Our many service locations are prepared to be your one-stop-shop for your inspection needs, including factory audits, production monitoring, pre-shipment and sorting inspections, and everything in between. This will allow you to know exactly what’s happening on the ground and keep close tabs on your suppliers. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate current quality control challenges.

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