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Sustaining Trade during COVID-19 Pandemic: Establishing a Conceptual Model Including COVID-19 Impact

Nashwan M. A. Saif, Jianping Ruan and Bojan Obrenovic
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Nashwan M. A. Saif: School of Politics and Public Administration, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Jianping Ruan: School of Politics and Public Administration, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Bojan Obrenovic: School of Management, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 10, 1-20

Abstract: The conceptual research aims to identify antecedents conducive to bilateral trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the relevance of bilateral trade for foreign policy and economy studies, there is a need for a renewed framework in times of extreme economic instability. As international commerce is essential for improving the country’s economy, we have examined how economic distance, population, trade percentage of GDP, exchange rate, and political changes interconnect and relate to COVID-19, influencing trade flows. This conceptual paper illustrates the likely impact of COVID-19 on international trade by exploring pandemics’ effects on standard trading parameters such as GDP, distance, policy stability, and population. We model the resulting shock as a multifaceted variable reflected in capital underutilization, manufacturing output decline, international trade costs inflation, production costs inflation, decrease in demand for certain services and shift from everyday needs towards activities that exclude the proximity between people, e.g., proclivity towards virtual market products. The sudden decrease in GDP and bilateral trade, as well as FDI, is amplified by further development of pandemics’ long-term consequences. We take COVID-19 to be a technological, financial, and policy shock significantly influencing international trade and economic development and argue that it will have a varying impact on diverse sectors and economies. The paper offers preliminary insight into the pandemic-related economics that are unfolding and deduce recommendations on positive changes in trading policy to fully leverage on arising trading opportunities and point to potential research directions.

Keywords: COVID-19; political relations; international relations; bilateral trade; gravity model application (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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