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World Trade Day Webinar 2021: MSMEs should be prepared to handle the sudden rise of demand

07:00 AM Jul 29, 2021 | Jescilia Karayamparambil

For export-oriented micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) going forward, the biggest challenge will be to address the sudden demand that will arise as more and more people get vaccinated, stated experts.

In a webinar organised by the World Trade Centre, experts stated that MSMEs will have to equip themselves to meet various global demands to enjoy the first-mover benefit.

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In the session, Andrew Wilson, Permanent Observer of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to the United Nations, and Abhijit Sen Gupta, Senior Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, spoke about global trade after the COVID pandemic.

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Wilson stated, “We are relatively optimistic about the global supply chain.” However, he added that the prolonged disruption will cost the global supply chain. In order to prevent permanent damage to the supply chain, the supplies need to be improved along with getting a grip on the COVID.

Adding to supply chain disruption, Sengupta said the global supply chain revived despite a major disruption mainly because China, the manufacturer of the world, was able to curb the spread of COVID faster than anticipated. “But that does not mean all is okay here.” The benefactors of this disruption were India, Vietnam and Indonesia after many companies moved out of China, Sengupta stated.

According to Bloomberg, more than 3.93 billion doses have been administered in the world. So, as the world increasingly vaccinates itself, few markets will open causing a sudden rise in demand. In the past as well – whenever there was a pandemic or war there was a sudden drop in demand – after a major slump in demand, there was a steep rise in demand followed by growth in various economies.

Sengupta added as the demand rises, MSMEs will not just have to address that but also growing concerns on emissions. Wilson also stated that the European Union (EU) and businesses in Europe are taking zero-emission levels more and more seriously after the pandemic. “They are looking at their supply chain to decarbonise, which includes SMEs (these companies work with). He added if MSMEs are able to implement these emission targets set by multinationals, then Indian MSMEs can enjoy the first-mover benefit among other entities,” he added.

Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai, gave the welcome address. Siddhartha Rastogi, Expert on Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets moderated the panel, while Captain Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai proposed vote of thanks.

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