March 19, 2020

Global trade updates: ECA current update on COVID-19

The Export Council of Australia has a long, proud history of supporting Australian international business. Like all organisation’s across Australia, the ECA is closely monitoring developments and advice regarding the COVID-19. We have been supporting companies to grow internationally for over 60 years and now more than ever we stand to assist in these unprecedented times.

The COVID-19 impact is being felt throughout the globe and in all aspects of life, especially in trade. International commerce has come to an almost grinding halt as an intertwined global supply chain is suffering from a butterfly effect of trying to contain the COVID-19. We are currently witnessing a hastening of the global supply chains currently being destabilised through constraints caused by both labour and logistic factors.

The current crisis comes on the back of drought, bushfires, trade wars and Brexit. This latest setback adds to the already fragile global trading system. The key has always been a balance between efficiency, predictability and risk management.

Alternatives need to be considered, ranging from new plans and more resilient business models to attention given to insurance and contract clauses on force majeure. With the varying effects of the COVID-19 on businesses and the broader world community, there is a limit to the positive outcome any stimulus package would achieve.

Nonetheless, times of upheaval provide opportunities for exporting organisations. When the current fallout is reviewed, deficiencies in value chains, business models and trade policies will be addressed.

Post-COVID-19, our prediction suggests world trade becoming increasingly resilient. For firms seeking competitive advantage, preparing for future uncertainties and turbulence will be vital. Whilst many businesses are suffering, those with foresight and fortitude will be in a better position to seize the opportunities when they become available again.

Considering the above, the ECA is currently working on a series of podcasts that we feel will provide ideas and direction for the future. It will seek to address a range of topics that will be beneficial to exporters as we move along in this challenging period. Please stay tuned.

On a final note, now is the time to come together as a broader business community. We know many of you are directly or indirectly feeling the impacts of the current COVID-19 situation both at a personal and organisational level and we offer you our full support.

Best regards

Dianne Tipping, Chair

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