How long can India be safe? After staying relatively unscathed for a while, India now witnesses the dreadful virus that has been a threat to other nations. With a population of about 1.3 billion, the chance of coronavirus spreading is so high.
After the new cases reported on March 4, the total count of Indian cases has shot up to reach 29 — no longer a trivial tally. The fear is now evident, and with good reason.
As per the economist Robert Subbaraman, the reason why India was not exposed to the coronavirus until now might be India’s unwillingness to join the China-led Asian supply chain.
India has been continuously moving in and out of joining the Great Asian supply chain, where China is the epicentre. This may have helped India suffer less when compared to other Asian countries where the coronavirus has brought the industries to a standstill.
This is the story so far, India has been able to protect itself both economically and geographically from the coronavirus comparatively. However, if the situation continues, will this story remain the same?
Affect of Coronavirus on Indian Economy
Until now the Chinese virus has affected the manufacturing and export sector–notably medicines, electronics, textiles and chemicals. The Indian government have stated that it is taking every measure possible to protect the domestic industries from the threat. Every year 30 billion dollars of bilateral trade happens between the two countries, especially in the area of intermediate goods, and it becomes essential to mitigate or reduce the impact to the minimum.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already stated that her government will soon come up with various measure to reduce the impact and help the Indian industries. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also reassured that Modi govt’s is committed to counter the emerging threat.
However, this situation won’t work if the virus decides to stay longer. Last week Moody’s forecast that the coronavirus would put an added pressure on the Asian growth rate, which is opposite to the prediction made by World Economic Forum last December.
As per the WEF in 2020, Asia’s GDP will overtake the GDP of the rest of the world consolidated. By 2030, the region is anticipated to contribute roughly 60 per cent of global growth.
The bulk of that growth will come from the developing markets of China, India and throughout South-East Asia, and it will give rise to a host of new decisions for businesses, governments and NGOs.
Through evaluating the current situation, the growth rate is slipping downwards and will primarily affect trade and tourism along with supply-chain disruptions.
India’s growth decelerated to an almost 7-year low of 4.7 per cent in October-December 2019 on a continued fall in manufacturing, and now faces the next big challenge of coronavirus outbreak choking global growth.
The growth rate of China–the epicentre of the coronavirus, now faces a much weaker growth wherein the production and export sector have been profoundly affected.
Currently, coronavirus has affected over 94,000 people worldwide, and causing more than 3,000 death, with infections on every continent except Antarctica.
According to the economist, Indian’s will have to keenly watch segments where India depends upon China for import–mainly, electronic, chemicals, pharmaceutical, solar–where there will be a shortage of supply. Another aspect is a negative demand impact which could be just a matter of time for India in case the world economy slows down because of China.
Coronavirus could turn out to be a pressing new for the Indian population as well as the economy if the virus is not contained soon.