When the World Health Organization announced the novel coronavirus outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), it made it clear that it opposed countries imposing travel or trade bans on China.
But more than 10,000 international flights to China have been canceled due to the impact of the epidemic. As the "world's factory" and a major country trading in goods, China is the largest trade partner of more than 100 countries and its manufacturing industry accounts for 25 percent globally, restricting China's trade and personnel exchanges with other countries will not only impact China's exports for a short time, but also undermine the stability of global supply chains and world economic growth.
In the short run, the epidemic's impact on China's exports will be larger than that on imports. To cope with the adverse impact of the epidemic on China's economy, the country has launched macroeconomic and fiscal measures to support China's imports and exports. And the global supply chain will rapidly recover in the second quarter as the epidemic is effectively brought under control.
The extended Spring Festival closure of businesses due to the epidemic has not only hit the catering and tourism industry, but also international trade. But after the epidemic is curbed, the consumption that has been constrained will be rapidly released and there will be an explosive growth in imports and exports.
The novel coronavirus outbreak will impact China's exports in the first quarter of this year. But international experience shows that the five PHEICs that have previously been declared only had a temporary impact on the economy of the countries where the health threat emerged.
Hubei province has been suffering the most because of the virus, but it only accounts for 1.5 percent of the country's total exports, which means the outbreak's impact on China's exports in 2020 is expected to be limited.
Although the epidemic has had a negative impact on China's imports, in the full year it will drive imports up, because China has just signed the phase one trade deal with the United States to import agricultural products and foods worth $100 billion, and there will be increased imports of medical supplies and medicines because of the epidemic.