The Trade, Industry and Services Association (ACIS), an organisation representing close to 600 SMEs operating in the industrial, commercial and service providing sectors in Mozambique, said, this Thursday, that some companies are already feeling the effects of the new coronavirus, now declared a pandemic.
At a press conference in Maputo, ACIS Executive Director Edson Chichongue said that at least 15 member companies reported that they were feeling the effects of the pandemic, as their businesses depended on affected countries, especially China and neighbouring South Africa.
“We have members who should be importing materials from China, through their partners in South Africa, but who are currently unable to do so,” Chichongue said.
Chichongue also highlighted members who wanted to train employees in countries such as China and Italy, but were unable to do so because of the situation. And this “clearly hurts your business,” he reported.
As to the effects of the pandemic, which are increasingly visible at the national level, the association was not hiding its concern.
“We, as the ACIS, are concerned about this situation,” Chichongue said.
The ACIS has not yet calculated how much companies have actually lost, but Chichongue said that the association would set about doing so this week.
Chichongue called on entrepreneurs to constantly update their awareness of the effects of the disease’s effects worldwide in order to avoid panic and clarify their plans going forward.
“Our appeal is for greater information management, because poor information management can raise the alarm more and more. In fact, this is what we have seen on a daily basis,” he said.
“Internally, companies must also adopt appropriate health measures,” Chichongue warned, even before any case of COVID-19 was registered in the country.
The Bank of Mozambique said at the end of last month that a prolongation of the COVID-19 outbreak could increase prices in general, and especially those of products imported from Portugal and China.
The World Health Organisation on Tuesday (10) said the coronavirus outbreak could cost the world economy one trillion US dollars in 2020. The WHO forecast takes into account losses due to instability in global financial markets, concerns about the global supply chain and uncertainty in oil prices.
Global statistics up to yesterday indicated close to 128,000 COVID-19 infections across a total of 120 territories, with more than 4,700 deaths and just over 68,000 patients recovering.