The COVID-19 pandemic has severely wrecked the global supply chain. While some countries and regions have managed to cope with the disruption, others have suffered major difficulties and are still struggling to recover. This has especially been the case for countries like Europe, who have faced several issues regarding its supply chain and sourcing mechanisms since the outbreak of the virus. Since many European nations are highly dependent on countries like China and rely heavily on imports, such complications were likely inevitable. So how exactly has the crisis completely exposed Europe’s heavy reliance on others?
Europe’s Reliance on Imports and Other Countries
The pandemic has caused widespread damage to the global trade industry. The onset of the crisis and the subsequent lockdowns meant that countries could no longer import more items. For countries like Europe that had always had a high dependence on medical supply imports to cater to the local demand, this signaled big trouble. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, the local manufacturing units have had to restart their production processes in haste. Many medical supplies like ventilators, protective equipment, generic drugs, and pharma ingredients are now being made in Europe locally. However, the current local production levels are still far behind when compared to the units that China was exporting to Europe before the lockdown.
This crisis has exposed the downside of relying too much on other countries for supplies. Although the European units are beginning to produce medical equipment, it is still not sufficient enough to cater to the heightened demand. Interestingly enough, European nations had already faced a similar situation during the 2011 Japan earthquake. Even though they experienced supply chains shocks back then as well, they have not learned much from the incident. As a result, Europe is facing further complications during an already tumultuous phase. The pandemic has exposed the frailties in European supply chains and their high degree of dependence on imports. The government must learn from this crisis and create better contingency plans to help the country fully recover.
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