Trade and Development Report 2020 - From global pandemic to prosperity for all: avoiding another lost decade

The world economy is experiencing a deep recession amid a still-unchecked pandemic. Now is the time to hammer out a plan for global recovery, one that can credibly return even the most vulnerable countries to a stronger position than they were before. The status quo ante, is a goal not worth the name. And the task is urgent, for right now, history is repeating itself, this time with a disturbing mix of both tragedy and farce. Now another crisis, in the form of a microscopic pathogen that rapidly made its way around the world, is throwing into sharp relief the shortcomings of the global economy and its stewardship. In March this year, with Covid-19 contagion becoming a full-blown pandemic and the death toll rising, governments across the world opted for a policy-induced economic coma – stopping the human interactions that define much of commercial life – to prevent new infections and relieve overburdened health systems. This Great Lockdown, as the IMF calls it, has tipped the global economy into recession in 2020 on a scale not witnessed since the 1930s. Massive relief packages have been adopted, particularly by advanced economies, and the medical community has come together in search of a vaccine. Still uncertainty abounds and anxiety persists. Additional waves of infection and death cannot be ruled out.

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