Editorial: Coronavirus threat

On the impact of Coronavirus on the economy, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought to allay any fears saying there is no need to immediately press the panic button, but things could get challenging if the issues prolong for another two or three weeks, citing feedback from the pharmaceutical and electronic industries, which depend heavily on imports of raw material from China.

China makes up a much larger share of the world economy than it did in 2003, when SARS, another illness caused by a type of Coronavirus, broke out.

Today, companies like Apple and Nike and other manufacturers and companies around the world are already admitting they’re feeling the negative effects of the virus. So too are industries tied to travel and tourism.

Airlines, cruise lines, hotels, they all take a hit during outbreaks due to travel bans, warnings and general fears.

A major vulnerability for businesses in the United States and Europe is their increasing reliance on China as a supplier and customer over the last 10 or 20 years.

It is time that government should think about alternatives, especially with raw materials for various industries being imported from China.

With Coronavirus still spreading in China, the onus is on the Finance Ministry to think alternative means to save industries.

NT Bureau