How quickly can Sri Lanka and its neighbours bounce back from COVID-19? Read our weekly wrap to find out.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday said the focus of the Government was to contain COVID-19 but also allow the economy to function. Many would agree that this is the most practical stance to take, but it also creates a difficult balancing act that requires far more resources be allocated by the Government for a sustained period of time. It also means the Government has to fix gaps in its COVID-19 response and adapt fast to protect citizens.
There's no doubt the pandemic has changed working patterns dramatically. But while office workers around the world have been getting comfortable at the kitchen table, what of manufacturers? Findings from the Lloyds Bank Business in Britain report, a survey of 200 large manufacturers, show that three-quarters (74%) of manufacturers have used COVID-19 to become more efficient by altering their manufacturing processes, simplifying their supply chains and increasing automation. Some 38% of British businesses plan to increase their use of automation and robotics in the next two years to boost productivity.
The global response to COVID-19 should also be a springboard for action on climate change resilience so we can narrow the divide between rich and poor and keep everyone safe. COVID-19 is not turning out to be a ‘great leveler’ of the rich and poor. Like most crises, lower-income households are hardest hit and lower-income countries face the most significant long-term effects.
The pandemic is challenging policymakers across Asia. The shape of the economic recovery is uncertain but pro-active government and central bank policies can improve outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic caused major contractions in economic activity throughout Asia and the Pacific. Despite some green shoots, in most countries the recovery path is still unclear.
There's a store on New York City's Lower East Side where customers can enter, browse, and shop all without touching anything but their phones. Showfields, a retail store and art gallery in one, designed a touchless experience for a pandemic world. This is just one example of companies that are finding new ways to satisfy drastically shifting consumer behaviors.