As
Coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeps through the global economy, Fiji’s shipping
industry has given assurance of minimal to no disruption to supply chain.

The
impact on businesses operating in China, and the resumption of Chinese factory
operations, has been less of a challenge than anticipated during the first two
months of 2020.

This was confirmed at a Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism-led consultation with shipping, and supporting fuel and logistics companies, with the Fijian Competition and Commerce Commission.

Discussions focused around ascertaining the extent of impact to the Fijian economy and possible response measures.

This
followed the private sector meeting last week and in light of Fiji’s first
reported case in Lautoka which prompted temporary travel restrictions to
Lautoka for at least 14 days.

Views of the transport and logistics sector was disused at length in order to map out corrective measures for consideration in response to the Supplementary Budget expected in the coming days.

Shipping companies provided assurance of the shipping sector and that business is still operating at normal with no impediments to warrant any panic.

A noteworthy discussion was China’s come back, and being in a state of ‘open for business’.

Asian services are filling up as a result, thus minimising disruption to the global and regional supply chain.

Chinese ports are back to an estimated 90 percent capacity as of last week, giving China’s export markets some relief.  Chinese gateways are again moving cargo after a two-month near-standstill.

Fuel
supply as it stands remains sufficient as companies have 2-3 months’ worth of
product supply, with more likely to come in soon. Therefore, it is unlikely
that supplies of essential services will be disrupted.

Logistics plays a key role in the greater global value chain.

As the logistics and transportation hub of the Pacific, Fiji is placing special emphasis on border agencies such as Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Fiji Revenue and Customs Services and Ministry of Health and Medical Services to exercise efficiency and duty of care to stakeholders.

The Ministry will continue its efforts in ensuring key stakeholders are consulted and supported in our collective efforts, ensuring supply and trading chains remain unaffected.

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