The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World- Context
- In the Post pandemic world, the Governments, global institutions, industry, academia and non-profit organisations around the world have joined hands to tackle the global challenge and help countries rebuild their economies.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted lives and livelihoods across the world; an economic catastrophe that affected growth, trade and investments, and employment, among others.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World: Impact of COVID-19
- Economic Impact: Covid pandemic has led to an economic catastrophe that affected growth, trade and investments, and employment, among others.
- Exit from the massive stimulus packages itself may pose risks of economic and financial instability.
- Deepening of Inequality: COVID-19 led to the growing inequality of incomes among countries as well as within countries.
- Global Supply Chain Disruption: the pandemic severely disrupted global supply chains and set the global trade trajectory on a downward path.
- Structural Changes: certain structural changes are likely to become permanent in the future and this is especially true of the digital economy. For example, telemedicine, remote work and e-learning, delivery services, etc.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World- India’s Role
- Economic Reforms: India’s recent reforms, role in combating the pandemic, and startup vibrancy, among other factors, have attracted global attention.
- These reforms can help India attain a faster growth path, provided its integration with the world economy and trade gains strategic intensity.
- Leadership Role Played during COVID Crisis:
- Besides protecting its own citizens, India provided medical supplies and equipment to more than 150 countries in the world.
- India also played a leadership role in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, besides undertaking a massive vaccination programme for its own citizens.
- India is undertaking serious action in meeting its other global commitments including climate change where its targets will make a difference.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World- Positive signs of economic recovery
- For this year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicates an increase of 22.4% in the value of global merchandise trade compared with 2020.
- World trade is expected to stand about 15% higher than before the COVID-19.
- The global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the first half of 2021 reached an estimated $852 billion, showing stronger than expected rebound momentum.
- FDI flows in developing economies also increased significantly, totaling $427 billion in the first half of 2021.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World- Way Forward
- International Collaboration and Cooperation: to ensure economic growth, building competitiveness of the investment climate, ensuring sustainable development paths and adapting to technology acceleration.
- Partnership Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) could be a good starting point for India.
- The convergence of the global scientific community for vaccine development and genome sequencing has set a new precedent in international cooperation.
- Ensuring Global Partnership: Global Partnership will help in building resilience to cope with the threats posed by pandemics and other man-made and natural disasters.
- Global partnerships help in building mutual trust and understanding by agreeing upon common rules and standards and sharing of best practices.
- Focus on Trade and Investment: It is important as Trade and investment flows have proved to be an engine of growth for many countries, in spite of temporary supply chain glitches due to covid-19 pandemic.
- Facilitate trade partnerships at both regional and multilateral levels to better protect consumers and producers.
- Cooperation on trade facilitation for enhancing open and transparent markets, technical assistance and reduction of complex processes and arrangements must be promoted.
- Addressing the Economic Inequality: Economic Inequality among countries as well as within countries must be addressed for the long-term sustainability of the growth process.
- Building a sustainable and disaster-proof supply chain: should be the top priority for the countries, especially for ensuring effective and timely medical supplies.
- An ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation: this must be created with targeted policies and interventions with an aim to enhance productivity and generate employment.
- Filling Technological Gap by ensuring Equitable adoption of Technologies: Digital economy completely transformed the future of work and the business landscape.
- This necessitates equitable adaptation to advanced technologies and tools, building robust infrastructure, and occupational transitions.
- The technological gap can be reduced by ensuring skill development and worker training, investments in education and vocational training, and capacity building.
- International alliances and cooperation on Building sustainable solutions: Like green technology, resource efficiency, sustainable finance, etc.,
- These sustainable solutions must be promoted to fast-track meeting the sustainable development goals and ensuring all-round development.
The Stepping Stones in the Post-pandemic World: Conclusion
- In the post-pandemic world, it will be critical for India to improve on its investment climate and systematically target its export capabilities across sectors and regions.
- Ease of doing business and new free trade agreement with major markets will help it integrate closely with the world through trade and investment partnerships.