Back to Business: International trade after Covid-19

Date: 13/07/2020
Author: bdg Consulting GmbH,
Company: bdg Consulting GmbH,

Cologne. We at bdg have always been eager to support foreign businesses strive for their success in Germany. But with extreme global dynamics unfolding, different conditions apply and approaching, and adapting, to change is key.

The pandemic, with its alarming loss of life, saw lockdowns around the world and has frozen the wheel of commerce that economies rely on. People’s lives have been turned upside down, underlined by administrative leave, hygiene measures, and fear. Our focus is now towards a healthier and more conscious recovery, the issue of international trade and business during the pandemic is now more relevant than ever.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, merchandise trade fell by 5% in the first quarter of the year and point to a 27% drop for the second quarter and a 20% annual decline for 2020.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty about the possibility of any economic recovery in the second half of the year,”

  • Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s director of international trade.

As the pandemic evolves, fiscal as well as economic policies and regulations have to evolve and are essential to combat a global economic recession.

Consequences and consumer behaviour

The constraint of lockdown, social distancing and other measures has led consumers to increase online shopping, social media use, teleconferencing, and streaming of videos and films.

The network capacity to accommodate the shift to online activities has been adapted by both operators and governments. Demand has fallen for certain services with a large online component, such as tourism services.

The pandemic has caused challenges for e-commerce such as delivery delays, cancellation of orders, cybersecurity concerns, and prices being pushed unreasonably high. Several other e-commerce-related challenges have appeared or been further intensified during this pandemic.

The crisis has also emphasised the need to bridge the gap between the digital divide, both within and across countries. Efficient and affordable information and communications technology services have never been more important.


 “The German health care system was in good shape going into the crisis. We had time to prepare and Germany is home to many laboratories and excellent researchers.”

  • Jens Spahn, the Minister of Health in Germany

The German-Market-Readiness-Index (GMRI)


bdg has rigorously adapted its services, particularly the German-Market-Readiness-Index (GMRI). The GMRI aims to define the degree of readiness of a company to enter the German market. A  questionnaire helps determine the company’s export strength, its organisation, marketing, strategy, sales, financials, industrial focus and suitability. In this questionnaire, the company representative’s answers are then counter-validated by the bdg auditor and indexed by a specially developed internal database. The result is a company score that indicates your readiness to enter the German market and provides a valuable instrument to plan further steps. Please see here for more information.

To get in touch with bdg Consulting GmbH, please contact the International Trade team at