Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Ebola outbreak: Punjab exporters avoid visits to West African nations

Nigerian port health officials wait to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. Source: AP photo Nigerian port health officials wait to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. Source: AP photo
PTI | Chandigarh | Posted: August 27, 2014 4:46 pm | Updated: August 27, 2014 4:49 pm

In the wake of Ebola disease outbreak in West African nations, Punjab’s light engineering goods makers and exporters expect shipments in future to be hit as they have decided not to “put their lives at risk” by postponing/cancelling their visits to these countries.

Besides, some exporters also fear delay in payment by buyers in Ebola hit nations.

“There is going to be a bad impact of Ebola outbreak in West African countries on Indian exports of engineering items including bicycle and bicycle parts. Exporters or their representatives are cancelling or postponing their visits to these nations.

“Its consequential effect will be drop in exports from India,” Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) Panel Convenor (Bicycle, bicycle parts) Satish Kumar Dhanda told PTI today.

Exporters pointed out that no body was ready to take risk by visiting Ebola virus disease hit nations which would hit future export orders.

Also read: South African Airways takes steps to prevent Ebola virus spread

Deadly Ebola virus disease outbreak has taken place in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Out of West African nations, Nigeria is one of the biggest export markets for Punjab based light engineering goods, including bicycles and bicycle parts makers.

Nigeria is among top 25 countries as far as export of engineering goods from India is concerned. As per EEPC data, the engineering exports to Nigeria during April till July 2014 was USD 420.89 million, up by about 24 per cent over exports of corresponding period last fiscal.

“We are postponing our visit to Nigeria keeping in mind the deadly attack of Ebola virus,” Ludhiana based bicycle parts exporter Tipson Cycles, Director, Kamal Pahwa said.

Pahwa also said that Nigeria based importers had also started delaying payment, citing lower sales.

“Our payment by buyers in Nigeria is getting delayed. They (importers) are saying that the payment was delayed because sales (of bicycles) have dropped,” said Pahwa.

“We are now adopting wait and watch policy,” he added.

With EEPC organizing engineering goods exhibition in Kenya next month, Punjab based light engineering goods maker are reluctant to participate in the exhibition in the wake of Ebola disease in West African countries.

“Some manufacturers in Punjab have shown reluctance in participating in the proposed three day exhibition starting September 17 to be held in Kenya in light of Ebola disease outbreak. They are now demanding it to be postponed,” said EEPC, Deputy Director (Jalandhar), Opinder Singh said.

EEPC is slated to hold ‘INDEE Kenya 2014′ engineering goods exhibition from September 17 till 19 in Kenya to allow manufacturers to showcase their items, including bicycle parts, auto parts, tractor parts.

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