The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joins the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and other partner organisations to launch a major survey to understand the unique challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in least-developed countries (LDCs).

SOURCE: International Chamber of Commerce

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Long queues outside essential services establishments, strained supply chains, rapidly shifting customer purchase patterns, wildly disconnected demand-supply requirements; these are just some of the visible impacts of the current COVID-19 situation in India. Disruptions to supply chains have been unprecedented in their scale and severity, and these are further amplified when the underlying supply chain is global in nature.

The current situation has truly brought to forefront the interconnectivity and interdependency that exists in every aspect of our lives, but nowhere else has this been more acutely felt than in the global supply chain. In this article, we highlight some of the expected changes and deliberate on impending issues in the supply chain industry in the ‘COVIDian’ era, from both customer and business perspectives.

SOURCE: Business Today

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African countries have pulled together to set up a one-stop shop to give the continent a fairer chance in the international scramble for Covid-19 test kits, protective equipment and any vaccines that emerge. The Africa Medical Supplies Platform will work like eBay or Amazon, unlocking access to supplies across the continent, and could save billions of pounds.

SOURCE: The Guardian

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business environment for many organizations around the globe, and has highlighted the importance of being able to react, adapt and set up crisis management mechanisms in order to weather situations of uncertainty. As the acute restrictions and lockdowns created many urgent situations that required immediate attention in the early days of the pandemic, many companies have now begun to move to a “recovery mode” and have started planning for the longer term. As companies seek to strengthen operations and business resilience, the importance of supply chain resilience and risk management is more apparent than ever.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.

SOURCE: IMF Blog

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COVID-19 is seen as the first crisis of the Anthropocene where economic activity has come in direct opposition to public health. When we are forced to think of new ways to make things work, it is likely that we will have new trends in the way we produce, distribute, purchase and consume things. Those trends, influenced by our new limitations, seem to favour a circular economy – the only economic philosophy that can sustainably cater to people’s needs in the long run.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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To ensure a resilient world economy that will sustain a Covid-19 recovery conducive to social progress, governments must now take decisive legislative action, according to a new ITUC report, “Towards mandatory due diligence in global supply chains”.

Source: ITUC Report

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The Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Mr Wamkele Mene, recently identified an efficient implementation of the intra-African free trade agreement as a critical tool in the hands of the continent’s leaders to stimulate and re-inject dynamism into Africa’s post-COVID-19 economy.

SOURCE: Business Hallmark

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Governments’ economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have included an array of measures to help people and businesses weather the storm. Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are in an especially difficult position. Plunging demand has forced them to lay off workers, and many don’t have the financial resources to survive in this climate. In many countries, up to one-third of SMEs could go bust within three months of when the pandemic began in their countries.1 But their viability will be critical to any postcrisis recovery: SMEs account for two-thirds of global employment and half of global GDP. A failure to protect them could put the entire global economy at risk.

SOURCE: Mc Kinsey

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