At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging all over the world, and more than 200 countries on five continents are not spared. The health and lives of all human beings are seriously threatened. The world is in the worst public health crisis in nearly a century. Almost all countries have taken measures such as city lockdowns and border closures in order to protect themselves. For a time, pessimism, unilateralism and protectionism prevailed. At this critical moment, G20 parties put aside their differences, coordinated action and demonstrated international cooperation to fight COVID-19, which provided confidence and hope for the global response.

SOURCE: China Daily

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We are witnessing a convergence of crises. The world is facing an unprecedented scale of human devastation from COVID-19 and communities are at risk of widespread destitution. The loss of lives is heart-breaking. The economic crisis has caused widespread hardship and uncertainty as swaths of the global workforce face unemployment, loss of income and mass workplace closures. This can only multiply global inequality, writes International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary and Global Commission on the Economy and Climate member Sharan Burrow.

SOURCE: EU Reporter

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The order to shut down operations or force employees to work from home has affected almost all sectors of the economy and increased the number of unemployed. The negative impact on national economies is devastating with almost all economies in the world likely to register steep decline inactivity. Covid-19 has become the new dreaded word, forcing many companies to change and adapt to survive or face the bleak choice of bankruptcy. One sector that is helping find solutions for businesses, both big and small, is fintech, offering relatively low-cost digital services in a number of ways.

SOURCE: Financial Mirror

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Many businesses in Africa have discovered new ways to bring goods and services to their clients during the COVID-19 lockdown. Both big and small entrepreneurs stand to benefit from online trade after the pandemic.

SOURCE: DW

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One of the most striking impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak is the harsh way it has exposed the weaknesses in supply chains for businesses around the world. Many were caught out amid panic buying of daily necessities, such as toilet paper, the unexpected demand surges for baking products and some food items, and most tragic of all, the scarcity of life-saving drugs, ventilators, masks and personal protective equipment. Despite decades spent fine-tuning supply chains, most companies found themselves struggling to fulfil their needs for raw materials or finished products.

SOURCE: The Straits Times

Image credit: .ST PHOTO: ZHANG XUAN

COVID-19 presents a major challenge for organisations all over the world. It has prompted many companies to adapt to this “new normal” and find alternative ways to conduct business. While it is uncertain to what extent conditions will change, the importance of adapting at speed is paramount. By adopting a proactive mentality, there are several things organisations can do to foster a stronger competitive advantage in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SOURCE: Supply Chain Digital

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The COVID-19 Project will develop WCO Guidelines for Customs administrations on business continuity and incident response in dealing with various disruptive scenarios represented by COVID-19 and other similar emergency situations on the basis of collected best practices. This project will also promote relevant WCO instruments and tools, in particular to WCO developing Members including Least Developing Countries (LDCs), through various assistance measures including national and regional training, considering each country’s individual situation and particular needs.

SOURCE: World Customs Organization

Image credit: WCO

A new joint project of the United Nations is currently seeking to help developing countries build transport, trade and logistics resilience in the wake of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. The project puts a premium on global reach and regional presence, international cooperation, as well as the exchange of knowledge and good practices from all over the world. It seeks to equip governments in developing and least developed countries to adapt to new post-COVID-19 conditions by tapping into UN expertise, standards, tools and guidance while considering their specific and local conditions.

SOURCE: The News Chronicle

Image credit: UNCTAD/Jan Hoffmann

Over the next 15 months, Africa is set to receive a total of $50bn towards its economic recovery from the World Bank, which has identified the protection of the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as essential to its economic bounce-back from the coronavirus. Financial technology (fintech) has a key role to play in this.

SOURCE: Oxford Business Group

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