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IN D U ST RY N EW S had been an opposite effect in Singapore, with outbound business slowing dramatically and expats there preferring to hunker down in the country as the crisis took hold. The difference between these countries was political stability, rather than spread of the infection, which had been higher in the latter, Chipman said. Managing Director of Mobilitas/AGS Group and FIDI Board member Cdric Castro said the businesss worldwide network had faced general challenges, including a drop in demand, lack of visibility and cash-management issues, in addition to local obstacles such as: government restrictions on moving in markets including France and Russia; closure of borders (starting with Poland then across Europe); and the lack of financial support for the business in countries such as Hungary. Aakanksha Bhargava, CEO of PM Relocations in India, said the company had adapted quickly, with new safeworking practices in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, and she expected the crisis to bring about lasting changes to the moving industry. This transformational time has motivated us to explore the process and business operations in a more personal, safe and secure manner than before, she said, adding that Indian movers would need to make permanent changes to ensure the countrys progress as an outsourcing hub for multinational organisations could continue as lockdowns were relaxed. EUROPE Some of the countries that have been worst hit by coronavirus including Italy, Spain and the UK - began opening up parts of their economy from May. In the UK, house viewings and moves Rob Chipman, CEO of Asian Tigers Hong Kong resumed after a government relaxation of lockdown measures, announced in the week commencing 10 May, saw people encouraged to return to work if they were unable to work from home. Accordingly, the British Association of Movers (BAR) revised its recommendations, stating a cautious approach to returning to operational activity may now be possible. However, it added that, as the industry was unable to comply with government social-distancing measures, its members must, therefore, take all appropriate measures to mitigate any associated risks. It is one of the many national associations that has published guidelines on reducing risk for movers and their customers. Italy, Portugal and Spain, which had enforced some of the strictest lockdowns in the world because of COVID-19, announced a gradual relaxation of the toughest measures during May, allowing people to move more freely, a precursor to restarting restricted businesses. In Milan, Max Ajroldi, of Franzosini Intl Movers, told FIDI Focus that the companys activity had almost completely stopped during the lockdown. He said he expected the crisis to cause casualties in many industries and for there to be permanent change in the moving industry. We expect an increase of general costs to perform any kind of move - such as freight or costs for origin and destination and long customs procedures - because of all the new safety rules that all governments will be forced to impose, he said. He added: Im sure, at the end, we will win this war, even if its with a lot of casualties. Reason Global Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 12 FF297 JunJul20 pp10-17 Ind News.indd 12 WW W. F I D I FOC U S . OR G 01/06/2020 14:38