HQTS Latest Supply Chain & Trade Updates across Asia – Report #9

With a wide range of service locations across Asia, HQTS has collected important supply chain and trade related information to help you fully understand the current situation affecting your business.

 

China

Just as China’s capital; Beijing, thought they were coronavirus-free, a second wave of infections has been traced back to a wholesale market in Beijing. Xinfadi market is a food market in the city’s southwestern district of Fengtai. The market was identified as the centre of the outbreak after the coronavirus was traced to the chopping boards used for imported salmon, although it is unlikely the fish itself carried the disease.

Since 16th June, Beijing’s emergency response level has been raised from level three to level two, requiring people to have their temperature taken and show a green health code before entering many residential compounds and buildings. Also, on-campus classes have been cancelled for all schools. Public spaces including; libraries, museums, art galleries and parks will implement reservation systems with a cap on visitor numbers and working from home is encouraged wherever possible. Beyond the official city-wide restrictions, many bars and restaurants have been ordered to close by their respective local district authorities or have decided to close voluntarily.

 

Bangladesh

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Bangladesh has decided to impose a zone-coded lockdown across the country amid a rise in cases of the novel coronavirus. Red will be high-risk zones, yellow moderate and green low risk. Offices and factories will remain closed while traffic and public movement will be restricted in red areas.

Financial and trading policies:

The finance minister rolled out the budget with an outlay of Tk 568,000 crore for the financial year 2020-21. Excluding foreign grants, the budget deficit stands at TK 190,000 crore accounting for 6% of GDP. The budget document provided a revised GDP growth estimate for the financial year 2019-20 at 5.2%, a downward shift from the original estimate of 8.2%. However, it projected 8.2% growth rate for the next financial year (2020-21).

 

India

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

As COVID-19 cases continue to mount in India, the government has re-imposed lockdown in several parts of the country with five wards in Bengaluru under lockdown again. The move comes days after some areas in Tamil Nadu were place under stringent lockdown amid a steady rise in cases. A total lockdown will be further imposed in Guwahati, Assam.

Financial and trading policies:

India’s macroeconomic indicators such as; manufacturing and service, fuel and electricity consumption, freight loading fertiliser sales, mobility, retail financial transactions and agriculture have started looking up as the country begins to unlock gradually, official data showed. Monetary indicators, such as forex reserves, average assets under management of mutual funds, and private placement of corporate bonds are expected to rise further.

 

Vietnam

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Vietnamese carriers resumed all domestic operations with national carrier Vietnam Airlines launching six new domestic routes. However, no date has been set to resume normal international operations. Vietnam’s Prime Minister has allowed the reopening of nightclubs and karaoke establishments, though the specific reopening date will be decided by each locality. Ho Chi Minh City authorities subsequently lifted the ban on these establishments from 11th June, though business owners must follow preventative measures and guidelines.

Financial and trading policies:

Vietnam’s National Assembly ratified the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on 8th June. Following the approval, the deal could take effect as early as August. The FTA is expected to boost the country’s manufacturing sector and exports as it recovers from the pandemic.

 

Malaysia

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Cinemas, theaters and live events in Malaysia are set to reopen from 1st July, but they must be held in enclosed spaces and the capacity must be limited to 250 people or fewer, depending on the size of the area.

Financial and trading policies:

Malaysia was reported to have begun discussions with six green zone countries – Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea – for cross-border travel without restrictions. Officials said the Health Ministry was studying modalities to include Thailand and Vietnam in this open border policy.

Associations representing key players in the retail and tourism sectors said they have presented a proposal to the Prime Minister and the Economic Action Council (EAC) for the government to take further steps in reopening the country’s economy.

 

The Philippines

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Philippine officials have ordered for a central city to go under strict lockdown again and retained quarantine restrictions in the capital for another two weeks as coronavirus infections continue to spike. Cebu City Mayor, Edgardo Labella has cancelled all quarantine passes issued to at least 250,000 city residents starting from 23rd June.

Financial and trading policies:

The Philippines has been under intense pressure to slowly reopen the economy, which is under threat of a looming recession, despite continuing viral outbreaks.

 

Singapore

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Singapore is on track to lift more restrictions on companies and residents by the end of June and according to a top minister, they expect that the entire economy will reopen in that phase.

Financial and trading policies:

Malls, gyms, massage parlours, parks and other public facilities reopened their doors in Singapore after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown. While observing strict social distancing and healthy safety rules, Singaporeans can wine-and-dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and hold social gatherings of up to five people. Minor prohibitions remain including contact sports and places of worship.

 

Indonesia

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

Indonesia is shifting to the ‘new normal’ as malls reopen, people return to work and it looks to reopen its borders to travelers from China, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Financial and trading policies:

Indonesia’s economy has declined by the movement restrictions and the second-quarter GDP growth is expected to be -3.1%, the first time in more than two decades since the 1998 financial crisis that Indonesia has experienced negative quarterly growth.

Both imports and exports have fallen due to slowing consumer demand and supply chain disruptions to the global economy. Earlier this year, Bank Indonesia estimated that 125 trillion rupiah (US$8.8 billion) of foreign capital had left the country, with the government reacting by buying government bonds and providing relief to businesses and households to shore up the economy. About 677.2 trillion rupiah (US$47.8 billion) has been allocated to pandemic management and boosting economic recovery. Household spending and foreign investment account for more than 70% of the country’s GDP.

 

Thailand

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics and business operation:

The government plans to completely lift the lockdown on all businesses and activities on 1st July across the country. This includes lifting inter-provincial travel restrictions as well as ending the emergency decree and curfew.

Financial and trading policies:

Thailand’s exports dropped 22.5% in May from a year earlier, the biggest decline since 2009, showing how much of an impact the virus pandemic is taking on the nation’s trade-reliant economy, due to travel restrictions and therefore, leaving the economy on course for the worst contraction in about two decades. The Commerce Ministry data showed that imports slumped 34.4% from a year ago, leaving a trade decrease of $2.7 billion.

 

Pakistan

Restriction policies on traveling, logistics, and business operations

Pakistan records 188,900 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Since the virus continued to spread in the country, Pakistan authorities imposed a ‘smart lockdown’ which lasted around two weeks in major affected cities. The govt. shut down markets, shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings and private offices. Public and private transport is banned, all entry and exit points of lockdown cities are sealed, only grocery shops and pharmacies are allowed to open in these areas.

Financial and trading policies

Despite a $500 million emergency loan received from Asian Development Bank (ADB), Pakistan seeks more help financially to come up with a new relief budget on a provincial level which assures to give maximum possible help to all sectors. Prime Minister Imran Khan shall consider demand of relief in electricity bills to help middle and lower middle-class households.

 

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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