The coronavirus outbreak could bring about “the biggest recession to ever hit the world economy” and will stymie growth in the toy trade if companies don’t act fast, according to the CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment CEO.
In a press release, Isaac Larian says he foresees a tumultuous year for the toy trade, as the viral pandemic forces closures of the industry's core manufacturing hubs in mainland China.
“The biggest toy factory in China just extended its closure by yet another week; I am sure they will extend again,” he says. “The Coronavirus is not solely China’s problem – the spread of the virus and the implications of the virus will impact more than those who have been or will be afflicted by it – it will impact the global economy.”
The health and welfare of overseas employees caught up at the eye of the storm are also high on Isaac's agenda. MGAE says it will support employees closest to the centre of the outbreak in China and Hong Kong by airlifting in preventative goods, including 6,000 masks and “anti-viral treatments”.
“We will provide additional support next week,” Isaac added in the statement, released last Friday, 7 February.
The MGA boss also branded White House officials who have played down the economic impact of the pandemic, and insisted it will not measurably hurt US trade, as “out of touch”.
“This crisis will bring the biggest recession to ever hit the world economy if it is not dealt with now,” he says. “It’s time that we all put our differences and nationalism aside and combat this monster that is threatening humanity.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has soared to more than 40,000 globally, though mostly in China where the outbreak began. The death toll has reached at least 908, though health officials say the daily rate of new infections has begun to stabilise.