The Corona Virus outbreak in China brings the heavily underestimated power of disruption to the global economy into sharp focus. The effect of a virus in a globalised world is far more than in closed economies. Interconnections kick in immediately. Instantaneous news spurs people to suddenly stop buying goods from affected provinces.
The local economy of affected provinces will bear more than the health impact of a virus. It could mean receiving exported goods back from around the world. It could mean cancelled orders. It could mean no orders for a long, long time. Factories may be force-shut. Tourism could be affected for years on end. People will simply ostracise a region – its goods, people, and resources. The negative chain effect on the affected region is clear.
On the contrary, when significant economic regions go out of global trade, this opens up new vistas to other geographies. The coming months will see very interesting movements in global trade. China is battling the slowest economic growth in three decades and could not have got this outbreak at a more inopportune moment.
India needs to be watchful. We must use this crisis to secure our health systems and enhance vigilance. We must effectively extend our trade outreach and grab as many export opportunities as possible. On tourism, there is no better time to get our act together and provide the impression of a cleaner and environmentally conscious nation to the world. We should be able to grab a better share of global tourism from this Corona outbreak. The opportunities in every crisis must be swiftly capitalised.