IMO Secretary-General stresses the vital need to maintain commerce by sea and protect seafarers’ welfare in face of coronavirus shut down.
Stating that in these difficult times, the ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and foodstuffs, will be central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has issued a statement addressing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping industry and the global supply chain.
South Africa exports and imports of goods equivalent to the value of about 60% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).. This puts international trade front and center of South Africa’s economy..
The size of this trade indicates that South Africa is a very open economy.. While having an open economy is a good thing, it does expose the country to greater volatility as the economy is influenced by global events and economies to a large extent..
The robustness of this trade could however, suffer due to the current hot topic on everyone’s mind.. Corona Virus or COVID-19..
The burning question that everyone has is what impact will COVID-19 have on South Africa’s trade especially as all of the above 5 countries have been affected by the virus with China being the worst affected and others not far behind..
Andrew Pike, Head of Bowmans Ports, Logistics and Transport sector shares some useful information on COVID-19 from South Africa’s shipping perspective..
On Sunday the 15th March, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa announced a ‘national state of disaster’ to enable the government to introduce measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 within South Africa..
Below is the gist of the measures now in place in South Africa..