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Seoul's anti-epidemic steps do not hinder business, European chamber says
  • By Park Gi-taek
  • Published 2020.03.05 15:43
  • Updated 2020.03.05 21:14
  • comments 0

A majority of European companies operating in Korea said they experienced significant impacts from the new coronavirus outbreak. However, the government’s measures did not slow down their business operation, a survey showed.

The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK), composed of 360 European member companies, on Thursday released the survey on COVID-19’s impacts on their business, conducted from Feb. 27 to March 4. The participants included companies in various industries, including services and manufacturing.

The survey results found that 82 percent of the respondents said the spread of the COVID-19 had “medium to high impact” on their business performance.

Fifty-five percent said there would be “a substantial decrease in revenues for the first half of 2020,” and 46 percent replied they were planning “to lower annual business targets.”

ECCK member companies’ most significant challenges were “decreased demand for products and services” (65 percent) and “uncertainty and inability to make business and investment decisions” (57 percent). Other difficulties included “field-based associates working from home,” “disruption to logistics,” and “cost of HR compliance.”

However, 83 percent of the respondents said the local authorities’ measures fighting the COVID-19 outbreak did not slow down or hurt their business production.

The survey also showed that European companies were actively participating in the government’s efforts and following the guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The participants of the poll said their measures included “restriction on international travels” (89 percent), “cancellation of events” (88 percent), and “employees to work from home” (79 percent).

“ECCK truly appreciates and fully supports the actions taken by the government and believes that companies will overcome the difficult times as well,” said ECCK Chairperson Dimitris Psillakis.

On Feb. 24, ECCK provided an emergency donation of 10 million won ($8,433) to the Daegu branch of the Korean Red Cross to help combat COVID-19.


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