By Gokhan Yildiz
ISTANBUL (AA) – In the post-pandemic era, Turkey could be the supply hub for Europe if China, Far East and India were preferred less, according to a top official from the audit and consultancy giant Ernst & Young.
The epidemic showed how important the logistics industry and the supply chains are for the commerce, industries, and the city life to continue, the Supply Chain Consulting Leader Arda Karacelebi told Anadolu Agency.
The novel coronavirus, which originated in China last December, caused isolation of some countries at first, he said, but it caused a domino effect as disruption in the supply chain would disrupt the whole chain.
The agility was what gained the least importance at first, but the virus showed that the lack of agility could damage the economy irredeemably, Karacelebi underlined.
He said that local networks and alternative sources raised the flexibility and resilience of the supply chain.
Therefore, supply strategies will change and closer networks will be preferred, he added.
"China was a very successful and reliable supplier, however, proximity will be an important factor," he stressed.
Although Turkey sees delays in access to Europe as it is outside the EU, the country's opportunity for being the main supplier has increased, according to Karacelebi.
"At this stage, if we can keep our procurement speed and reliability at the right levels and increase our product-development speed and show our agility, we can be preferred more," he argued.
He recalled that the pandemic also affected the logistics sector and countries took several measures, such as isolating drivers and protecting borders.
"In short, international transportation faced many problems, and developed new routes and methods very quickly," he said.
During the pandemic period, people's demand for e-commerce rose and companies made investments in this area, Karacelebi added.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.
The pandemic has killed more than 264,400 worldwide, with total infections over 3.77 million, while recoveries passed 1.25 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
In Turkey, the virus, since its outbreak, has infected 131,744 people, while causing 3,584 deaths. Over 78,200 people have recovered so far.
* Writing and contributions by Gokhan Ergocun