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Analysis of Sansad TV Discussion: ”Davos Agenda 2022: Global Economic Recovery”

Context

• This years’ Davos Agenda virtual event took place between 17-21 January 2022.
• It featured heads of state and government, CEOs and other leaders to address critical challenges faced by today’s world.

Background

  • The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. These changes, not limited to a particular moment, event, country or region, represent the profound and sweeping changes of our times.
  • As changes of the times combined with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation.

What is Dawos Agenda/Forum?

  • The Forum is traditionally held in Davos, the highest town in Europe (1,560 meters). Surrounded by mountains, it houses the largest ski station in Switzerland. However, Davos is not famous for its snow but for hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • For more than 50 years, the World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Forum, has served as a global platform where leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academia come together to address critical issues at the start of each year.
  • Davos was established in 1971 in Geneva (Switzerland) as an “independent, impartial and not tied to special interests” non-profit organization.

What is the objective of this years’ davos agenda?

WEF is emphasizing two in particular:

  • The biggest priority is to accelerate progress and the impact of the forum to tackle global challenges – from COVID and climate change to education and global technology.
  • The second objective is to provide a platform for connection, thus fostering the generation of new ideas and innovations, involving communities, projects and individuals willing to share their contributions. Technology will allow the audience to observe and interact with the forum through the live streaming of sessions, social networks and virtual connections.

Why is Davos Agenda Important?

  • The Davos Agenda virtual event offers the first global platform of 2022 for world leaders to come together to share their visions for the year ahead.
  • The event marks the launch of several Forum initiatives including efforts to accelerate the race to net-zero emissions, ensure the economic opportunity of nature-positive solutions, create cyber resilience, strengthen global value chains, build economies in fragile markets through humanitarian investing, bridge the vaccine manufacturing gap and use data solutions to prepare for the next pandemic.
  • The global leaders who participate in the meeting each year work on eight thematic priorities: global cooperation; economic rebalancing; society and equity; climate and nature; innovation and governance; industrial transformation, risks and resilience; and global health.

Why is WEF important?

• The WEF summit brings together the who’s-who of the political and corporate world, including heads of state, policymakers, top executives, industrialists, media personalities, and technocrats.
• Deliberations at the WEF influence public sector and corporate decision-making, especially on the issues of global importance such as poverty, social challenges, climate change, and global economic recovery.
• The heady mix of economic, corporate, and political leadership in the Swiss ski resort provides an ideal opportunity for finding solutions to global challenges that may emerge from time to time.

Challenges Faced by Global Economy

  • The world economy is emerging from the depths, yet it still faces many constraints.
  • The global industrial and supply chains have been disrupted. Commodity prices continue to rise. The energy supply remains tight. These risks compound one another and heighten the uncertainty about economic recovery.
  • From the impact of a new COVID variant to continued inflation, governments will continue to face economic challenges in 2022.
  • The global low inflation environment has notably changed, and the risks of inflation driven by multiple factors are surfacing.
  • If major economies slam on the brakes or take a U-turn in their monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers. They would present challenges to global economic and financial stability, and developing countries would bear the brunt of it.
  • The Human Development Index has declined for the first time in 30 years. The world’s poor population has increased by more than 100 million. Nearly 800 million people live in hunger.
  • Difficulties are mounting in food security, education, employment, medicine, health and other areas important to people’s livelihoods. Some developing countries have fallen back into poverty and instability due to the pandemic. Many in developed countries are also living through a hard time.

What immediate and long-term actions will be required to stabilize the global economy and ensure a sustainable and equitable recovery?

  • In the context of ongoing COVID-19 response, we need to explore new drivers of economic growth, new modes of social life and new pathways for people-to-people exchange, in a bid to facilitate cross-border trade, keep industrial and supply chains secure and smooth, and promote steady and solid progress in global economic recovery.
  • We should guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its centre.
  • We should make generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and the digital economy on the basis of full consultation, and create an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation.
  • These are the ways to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, and to fully unleash the vitality of the world economy.
  • Major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies, manage policy spillovers, and avoid severe impacts on developing countries. International economic and financial institutions should play their constructive role to pool global consensus, enhance policy synergy and prevent systemic risks.

Conclusion

The history of humanity is a history of achieving growth by meeting various tests and of developing by overcoming various crises. We need to move forward by following the logic of historical progress and develop by riding the tide of development of our times. The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Different countries and civilizations may prosper together on the basis of respect for each other, and seek common ground and win-win outcomes by setting aside differences.

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