Having worked in the European energy industry for over 18 years, I decided to join the Uniper Global Commodities Helium Business and move to Asia at the end of 2018. The impressive economic growth across Asia and the resulting significant impact has been a frequent topic of discussions in Europe. I wanted to experience this first-hand myself.
Certainly, I had never imagined to be hit with something like Covid-19 this year.
From a European perspective, I believe it is very difficult – due to the sheer distance involved – to understand the variety, dynamics and dimensions of the Asian markets. I have been both impressed but also surprised, at how little I knew about it while I was in Europe.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our lives and our markets have changed. In Singapore, we were quick to understand the risks associated with a virus outbreak; Singapore took early measures like social distancing to limit the virus’ spread across the community, while keeping businesses and the economy open. From late January until 7thApril, the restrictions were only moderately felt among the community.
With the start of the so-called ‘circuit breaker’, however, all our daily lives have changed significantly. Currently, and until 1stJune, we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and avoid going out – except to buy food and daily essentials, or for urgent medical needs. If we must go out, we should go alone, not in groups or as a household. Furthermore, we need to wear facial masks when in public. Exercising outside is allowed, but only alone and in the immediate neighbourhood.
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