TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Former Trade Minister, Mari Elka Pangestu, said that the coronavirus outbreak could potentially worsen the trade sector if the spread of the deadly virus was hard to stop.
"It (the virus) has not affected the merchandise flow yet. Hopefully, it will not happen," said Elka after attending the World Development Report (WDR) in Jakarta, Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
Mari, who was named World Bank Managing Director on March 1, pointed out the previous SARS outbreak when entrepreneurs could not do business and invest due to the halt in merchandise flow.
If the Chinese economy became worse due to the virus outbreak, she estimated that Indonesia could also be affected since China has been one of Indonesia's main trading partners.
"We will be affected if China's (economy) slows down. They import coal and palm oil, yet the impact is still not visible. Hopefully, the spreads of the virus can be stopped," she said.
Meanwhile, the tourism sector has been affected by the temporary suspension of flight routes from and to Wuhan, the city that was first identified with the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recorded 2,798 cases of the new virus (2019-nCov) infection globally as per January 27, 2020.
Antara | Safira Andini (Intern Translator)