As of 25th March 2020, the number of reported cases of the coronavirus disease, formally named COVID-19, has crossed 423751 globally, according to the World Health Organization (as of March 25, 2020). As the world faces the pandemic virus Covid-19 on the rise, many countries are now closing its borders to contain the outbreak.
As the internal debate between health vs economy goes on, many countries are facing a “Twin Crises or Twin Catastrophes” where curbing the outbreak for health reasons have direct ripple effects to the economy. Measures taken by authorities to slow the spread of the virus — such as closing borders and keeping people at home — have compounded the outbreak’s hit on the economy, with many experts now warning of a recession.
Businesses, big or small, are affected as the world’s economy plummets down into a recession. At this rate, it is predicted that the world will face its worst financial crises to date (Rogers,2020). The impact will be worst or equivalent to the 1997 Asia financial crisis or the 2008 World financial crisis.
On March 25, 2020, the Malaysian government had announced an extension of its Movement Control Order from merely 2 weeks to a 4 weeks order. The announcement had taken the nation by storm as large and small corporations worry for the future.
To counter the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia had also initiated several economic emergency stimuluses plans worth US$4.8 billion. The package implements strategies that include spurring economic growth, promoting investments, and encouraging businesses to adopt automation and digitalization in their processes.
Categorically, the tourism industry suffers the most with airlines grounded, citizens on a lock down order and closure of country’s borders. Related industries such as airlines and retail are not spared as it comes as a domino effect. Companies who are weighted down with big debts, involved heavily in global trading and those who are critically dependant of international supply, especially from China, are most vulnerable to the downward economic impact.
SMEs are the backbone of any economy and they are likely to be most affected by social distancing coz they rely on face-to-face interactions and any prolonged lockdown can be devastating. Although with the rise of delivery services, it might not be enough to keep afloat for some business owners.
Digitalization might be a way out. The shift in ways businesses are conducted are inevitable. Using tools to conduct daily business monitoring is essential in time of imposed movement control order. Global market access can be done online. The question is, can the market adapt to the sudden change? Our opinion is by hook or by crook you must, or you will get left behind.