The global economy faces a tough journey back from the Covid-19 downturn, and nations should lift obstacles to trade in medical technology to help recovery, said the IMF leader on Thursday. Managing Director Kristalina Georgievas call to the G20 leaders summit this week comes as countries struggle with the effects of a pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands and triggered a rapid contraction in development.
While the medical solution to the crisis is now in sight, the economic path ahead remains challenging and vulnerable to setbacks, Georgieva said in a blog post. Big health firms are already shutting their doors on viral vaccines in the wake of a worldwide increase in cases that have prompted certain countries to re-impose restrictions to curtail infection.
The re-emergence of pathogens is a potent reminder that a sustained economic growth cannot be accomplished everywhere until we defeat the pandemic everywhere. It called on countries to collaborate to ensure a sufficient supply of vaccinations, testing and medications, as well as multilateral initiatives to produce, buy and administer these health solutions especially in poorer countries.
It also means lifting recent trade controls on all medicinal products and services, including those linked to vaccines, said Georgieva.
According to the AFP report, the Covid-19 pandemic caused more than 1.3 million deaths worldwide and caused a significant impact on the global economy.
The IMF expects global demand to contract by 4.4% this year, before rebounding by 5.2% in 2021. However, Georgieva observed that growth in the third quarter was higher than expected in the United States, Japan and European countries.
The virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia is expected to be the next during the term of US President Donald Trump, who, after denying the outcome, lost his offer for another four years in office earlier this month.
Washington, under his administration, has participated in trading disputes with both its strategic foe China and its European allies, who also slowed down economic development well before the epidemic came into being.
The IMF called on nations, in a different study report, to work together to stop the pandemic.
The Washington-based crisis lender said that integrating well-coordinated national policies with collaborative initiatives at the global level would help ensure a quick, sustained recovery.
In the near term, the G20 should refrain from introducing or intensifying trade sanctions and immediately lift those on all medicinal products and services, as well as on all goods and services related to the production and delivery of vaccines that have been in effect since the beginning of the year.
The IMF called on Britain and the European Union to negotiate a trade agreement that, when London disentangles itself from the regional bloc, would forestall new trade barriers.
The lender also echoed its call for more public investment to help countries avoid the downturn in development and reshape their economies to tackle climate change as well as growth.
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