Outward-oriented economies, including Qatar, which look at trade as a major driver for economic growth, will play a significant role towards a robust global trade recovery solution and economic turnaround from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said.
Speaking at the digital roundtable ‘Qatar at the Crossroads of the World’ organized by The Business Year (TBY) recently, Dr. Amitendu Palit, a sitting member of the WEF’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment and a Senior Research Fellow and Research Lead at the National University of Singapore’s Trade and Economic Policy, said protectionism by various countries which has led to export restrictions is a matter of concern.
He added that what the world needs to do is to focus its complete attention on global economic recovery, and there is no alternative other than working towards a robust global trade recovery solution. “At the same time, make all efforts to ensure that those who have lost their jobs are in a position to recover those.
Enough jobs are created, more livelihoods come up, and countries are able to come back to their economic growth as smoothly and as quickly as possible. And in this regard, an economy like Qatar for example, has really got a very important role to play in the economic turnaround.
The role of outward-oriented economies who are looking at trade as their major driver for economic growth is going to become more and more prominent.
As along with the protective impulses displayed by various countries of the world, outward economies begin to display a positive indicator of economic expansion, trade expansion, value creation, and job creation,” Palit added.
He however warned, that in the process, unlike in the past, it is no longer going to be a question of just boosting trade according to basic comparative advantages. Palit reiterated that the character of supply chains is going to reshape fundamentally post COVID-19. He added that digital trade across the world is going to accelerate, and so is the importance of a number of industries in the sector.
“Countries now realize the importance of making supply chains shorter and more resilient. And they also realize the importance of changing the fundamental character of the supply chains to acquire a more inherent digital dimension. There are probably some industries that are going to remain at the forefront of the next generation of trade and economic solutions. These include pharmaceuticals, critical medical supplies, food, cross border e-commerce, including data transfers, and digital payment systems,” said Palit.
He added that as new supply chains become shorter and more resilient, they are going to depend squarely, not just on the digital infrastructure that various countries are able to offer to them, but on trade facilitation and sophisticated and modern trade practices.