Global supply chain challenges: B2BeeMatch founder weighs in at the WTO Public Forum
Recently, B2BeeMatch’s founder and CEO, Karima-Catherine (KC) Goundiam, spoke on a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum 2021 on the topic of “Supply chains: From assessing vulnerabilities to building resiliency.”
The panel aimed to address questions about how to determine which sectors or products could be at risk in a given country’s economy, and how to build resiliency. Global Affairs Canada shared its Supply Chain Vulnerability Index, a tool to assess supply chain risks. The United Kingdom presented its Global Supply Chains Intelligence project, which is developing a data-driven approach to linking product, sector and country dependencies across supply chains. The African Medical Supplies Platform, which was developed under the leadership of the African Union, provided a great example of how to build resiliency. From a private-sector angle, Goundiam then discussed how digital tools such as B2BeeMatch can enable SMEs to connect to international markets and be part of the solution in building resiliency.
Perspectives from Canada’s public sector and private sector
Marie-France Paquet, Chief Economist with Global Affairs Canada, chaired the panel. She said, “While supply chains were once an area of interest to a few specialists and industry experts, over the past 20 months with COVID-19, they have been placed under a spotlight like never before.” In describing the supply chain vulnerability index, she explained, “The tool allows businesses and policymakers to identify the industries that are most vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, such as natural disasters, geo-political disputes—and of course, global pandemics.”
Goundiam, in turn, spoke about B2BeeMatch’s contribution to the supply chain. “A supply chain is a series of dependencies, and problems can arise at every point in that chain: everything from sourcing to production to shipping,” she said. “B2BeeMatch allows SMEs to reach out to companies that can help them, giving them more options to connect with alternatives for each of the points in their supply chain.”
In addition to the basics, she explained, “Services often have no borders but they still require market knowledge. B2BeeMatch helps companies do business locally and around the world. In these times of global supply chain disruption, our ability to connect across borders, find specialized help in our target markets, and pivot our businesses is crucial to staying afloat and mitigating supply issues. B2BeeMatch is a key tool to help with all this.”
Recovering from pandemic-related supply chain disruptions
Marie-France Paquet said, “Panelists discussed strategies for building resilience into supply chains, and also about recovery—that is, how supply chains recover after they have experienced disruptions—which was highly relevant as we enter this next phase of the pandemic.”
Karima-Catherine Goundiam explained how B2BeeMatch can help with supply chain recovery.
“In times of crisis,” Goundiam said, “you may need to pivot your business or create a careful communications plan to explain delays to your customer, and B2Bee can connect you with businesses to do that. On this platform, we break through the barriers to insular industries and sub-industries so companies can discover and diversify the resources, talent and suppliers they may be able to work with.”