Exporters are keeping their fingers crossed due to rising Covid infections globally on account of the emergence of the Omicron variant as it could again disrupt supply chains and affect demand for goods, industry leaders said. According to medical experts, Omicron is highly contagious and it is likely to affect a lot more people in a very short time, which in turn could impact global demand and disrupt supply chains, which have not yet returned to normalcy, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said. The first quarter of 2020 may see moderate growth in global trade which is a cause of concern for all of us, FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said.
Sharing similar views, leading exporter of Mumbai and founder chairman of Technocraft Industries India Sharad Kumar Saraf said that the exporting community is concerned due to rising infections in the country and different parts of the world. Saraf suggested the government not to take any harsh measures such as lockdown as it would affect businesses. We are concerned. We only hope that it will not last long because this time all the governments across the globe are vigilant, he said. He added that so far order books are good and there are no reports of cancellation of orders. Hand Tools Association President Subhash Chander Ralhan said that people should follow all Covid-related protocols so that cases should not increase and the government should continue with their vaccination programme at a faster pace.
The government should ensure that logistics should not get affected, Ralhan said. Due to rising Covid infections, several countries are cancelling flights. India saw the highest single day rise of Omicron infections with 156 fresh cases, taking the total tally of such cases to 578, according to the Union Health Ministry data. With 6,531 people testing positive for coronavirus infections in a day India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,93,333, while the active cases declined to 75,841, according to the data updated at 8 am. India’s exports during April-November 2021 rose by 51.34 per cent to USD 263.57 billion.