TRADE IN MEDICAL PRODUCTS DURING COVID-19: HOW TO FACE THE CHALLENGES?
The COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for health systems, governments and, of course, businesses in the world of international trade.
The import and export of medical products has been deployed worldwide over the past two months, despite the fact that this sector also faces a number of obstacles associated with export restrictions, new protectionist measures and much uncertainty.
From the international trade sector, several basic measures were proposed on how to face the challenges by the new coronavirus and at Credit Report we have summarized the most relevant data disseminated in this regard by the World Trade Organization (WTO), to be a reference in the strategies of all trading companies.
What role does international trade play in the pandemic?
Medical products moved 597 billion US dollars around the world during this current health crisis.
This group includes everything from medicines to protective equipment for health professionals, which began to be the most demanded in all countries of the world.
This was especially the case in those locations that faced the greatest challenges in terms of the number of patients infected and hospitalized by COVID-19.
International trade has proven to play an essential role in the flow of these medical products in the cities where they are most needed. However, several authorities imposed some extraordinary tariffs and others created new temporary restrictions that may compromise the availability of these medical materials in the locations most affected by the spikes in the spread of the new coronavirus.
What are the key measures in this scenario?
To maintain stable import and export flows of the entire set of medical products is necessary to:
1. Promote the free flow of international trade
The WTO reported that a total of 80 countries enacted temporary measures to impose export restrictions in the medical products segment. This includes 72 member countries of the organization and marks a protectionist trend in the current scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, it is important that producing companies and all actors in international trade insist that all countries in the world depend on the free flow of trade and global supply chains to provide themselves with a large number of products, which go beyond that group of medical materials. This is the time for cooperation.
2. Make transparent the side effects of protectionist measures
Although these restrictive measures on exports of medical products are not primarily intended to restrict access to many of these medical products, there is evidence that they have detrimental effects on the flow of international trade.
In many cases, an increase in the prices of medical products is being promoted just when they are needed to reach all cities and locations. Not to mention that these restrictions can also lead to disruptions in the production chains of some medicines or protective equipment in various parts of the world.
3. Optimize global transport lines
Regardless of whether it is sea, air or land transport, all marketing companies face constraints in moving their loads as quickly as possible due to the social containment measures imposed over much of the globe as a preventive measure against COVID-19.
This is the moment, then, for all importing and exporting companies to think of simple and viable ways to optimize all their product transport lines.
This can be of great help to reduce delivery times and establish cooperation networks with the main sea or air transport partners of each importing or exporting company.
The role of international trade in these unprecedented times is very important and that is why at Credit Report we are aware that you need a more transparent and reliable environment than ever to do business.
If your company wants to take advantage of the opportunities that are looming to market all kinds of medical products, we can provide you with advice with solutions tailored to your product and your target markets.