The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy is imminent and already visible. Truth to be told, it is impossible to predict the magnitude of that impact just yet. In qualitative terms, it is safe to say it will be significant. Along the same lines, it is hard to predict how long it will take to reach some new state of equilibrium of the global economy. Service and product supply and demand are out of equilibrium, supply chain disruption and financial crisis are possible. Needless to say, it seems all sectors of our industry are or will be affected one way or another. With that much uncertainty, it is safe to say the association members could and should shift focus on internal processes they control like spending and cost, compliance, quality improvements and leaning operational processes. It seems times were never better for a hard look in the mirror. Also, there are significant attempts to offset the current and projected impact of COVID-19. Thus far, combined fiscal aid to the global economy is exceeding 8 trillion US dollars. And it will only continue to grow. Most of the aid is in the form of grants, low-interest loans, tax credits and so forth. While it is early to say there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, one thing is certain: this pandemic will pass like all other things in life. For the association and its members, it is of utmost importance to predict and position for the global economy after the pandemic. All members are not affected equally. On one end of the spectrum, it seems the commercial diving sector tethered to the oil and gas industry is impacted more due to the unprecedented low price of oil. It looks like recovery of this sector will follow the recovery of oil price and associated investment circle. On another hand, some members are shifting their focus toward hyperbaric medicine and associate equipment. Diversity is always a good approach.
At this moment, the association is operating with minimum disruption besides the execution of diving audits. Regardless of the global pandemic, I’m urging members to schedule their audits. Rest assured the association will be ready to execute all scheduled audits as soon as global travel is re-established. Other than audits, the association is providing full program service to its members.
In conclusion, when systems break down, leaders step up. As a leader in commercial diving safety, the association is evaluating its strategy for near- and long-term future. Every road to success starts with a hard look in the mirror and answering the question of who we are and where do we want to be. I foresee the association and its members becoming safe, more cost-effective, high-quality service and product provider.
Stay healthy. Stay safe.