The Impact of COVID-19 on Business Activities and Supply Chains in the ASEAN Member States and India
This study uncovers the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the business performance, outlook, and regional supply chains of manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States and India. To address the aim, we conducted an extensive questionnaire survey via internet from November 2020 to February 2021 and received effective replies from 1,789 companies – comprising local firms, including large and small and medium-sized enterprises and multinational firms in all 11 countries. The results show vigorous private dynamism in the region. Firms’ business performance during the pandemic was distributed widely from positive to negative, and the firms that were adaptive to the COVID-19 shock – in terms of quickly arranging their supply chains – were more likely to perform well and have a better outlook. Many firms restructured their supply chains to a certain extent in response to the COVID-19 shock. Furthermore, most of the supply chain adjustments are unlikely to be reversed. The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a number of reduced transaction links in the regional supply chains, while it delivered almost the same number of expanding transaction links. A somewhat disappointing outcome was that the least selected supply chain measure in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak was supply chain digitalisation, which should have been an accelerator of digital transformation in the regional economy.