Covid-19 fears hit Sibu businesses


SIBU: The outbreak of Covid-19 is putting further pressure on those in the import and export business.

Sibu Chamber of Importers and Exporters Wholesalers Association outgoing president Kong Ket Dee said their business was already impacted by the ban on the import of certain canned products from China by the state government last October.“Import and export wholesalers, especially those dealing in canned pork products, are facing a hard time. Last year, due to the African swine fever epidemic, the

Sarawak government closed the door to importing canned pork from China.

“This time it is even more difficult for us due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which started in China in Wuhan province and has spread worldwide, ” he said in his speech at the association’s 30th annual general meeting. Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted supply chains and affected businesses worldwide that depend on parts or products from China.

Kong said the epidemic had caused anxiety and decreased market purchasing power.

Although the wholesalers still have some stock of canned pork on hand, he said he was worried that if the products were not replenished in time, it could result in a shortage in the market.

With the global economy sluggish and the weak ringgit, their costs have gone up while profits have dropped.

“In the face of the uncertain factors, we have lost direction. I hope the Sarawak government will seriously consider the problems faced by the canned pork industry and lift the ban soon so that supply in the market can return to normal, ” he said.Kong said with the rapid development of information and communication technology, the global economic environment had undergone drastic changes, posing even more challenges to the import and export wholesalers.

He urged wholesalers to adjust to the faster pace, be creative and change, and respond accordingly to the era of globalisation.

“Have a strategy to continue to gain a foothold in the market. The present crisis will eventually make a turn for the better. I believe that as long as we maintain a positive attitude, we can overcome difficulties.”

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