Bangladesh now is at risk for not responding to the coronavirus outbreak fast and in the right way.
But the country showed its strength and resilience in fighting natural calamities in the past and it can overcome this danger too, says the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh.
The global business organisation's Bangladesh chapter asked policymakers' to take the lead in bringing public and private sector leaders together for framing a policy framework, in the time of growing uncertainty and volatility caused by coronavirus pandemic.
Also, the numbers of coronavirus spread do not adequately reflect the scale and magnitude of this global crisis, which is not only related to public health but also the health of the global economy, says the ICC Bangladesh in a press release on Monday.
"No one knows exactly what will come tomorrow and how the society, government, healthcare, and economy will change. It is obvious that the marginal and growing economies will be severely affected.''
So, it is a big concern for Bangladesh as the USA, UK, Canada, and the European Union countries make up more than 70 per cent of its total export destinations.
Bangladesh's export earnings fell by 4.8 per cent – in the first eight months of the current fiscal year – to $26.24 billion from $27.56 billion of the same period of last fiscal year. And this downward trend might deepen in the coming months in the face of a surge in cancellation of export orders, says the ICC Bangladesh.
Also, China is Bangladesh's largest trading partner and the highest contributor to its supply chain, "which feeds into both export and import production."
So, Bangladesh's economic activities may stumble because of the direct impact on production, supply chain, market, firms and financial markets, says the ICC Bangladesh.
The financial sector, namely Bangladesh's banking sector, can be the hardest hit and the country's remittance flows are likely to slow down.
It is still too early to properly assess what harm the virus will cause to Bangladesh's economy as the situation is evolving every day. "Economic estimates can only provide a magnitude of the impact, '' says the ICC Bangladesh.
"The actual ramifications will depend on the extent of the spread and length of the outbreak's duration and how quickly policymakers can take action to mitigate the health and economic damages.''
"There is a pressing need for our government and businesses to agree on an overarching policy framework in the face of growing uncertainty and volatility. Only coordinated action will be effective in tackling a threat that by its very nature knows no borders, '' says the business organisation.