Conference: “The World Economy in Times of COVID-19: Effects on Development Policy”

Bild eines Virus

©PIRO4D, Pixabay

In December 2020, a conference was held as part of the “Fair Globalisation” project financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on the subject of “The World Economy in Times of COVID-19: Effects on Development Policy”. International experts and political decision-makers discussed the question of how the global economic order can contribute to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and thus guarantee a fairer and more inclusive globalisation, also against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic.

International trade plays a very important role in shaping globalization fairly and overcoming the corona crisis. Participants of the conference discussed, among other things, how the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) can be exploited, what role environmental clauses can play in trade agreements and what economic advantages would result from an Investment Facilitation Agreement.

Participants of the conference stressed that developing countries do not have enough financial resources to cope with the crisis. The “global financial safety net” should thus be strengthened for example by capital increases of the multilateral development banks. The current international tax system offers multinational corporations and rich individuals many loopholes for tax avoidance. Increased international tax cooperation is needed which involves all countries in the negotiations. To prevent a renewed debt crisis in developing countries, for example the debt restructuring within the new “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative” initiated by the G20 and the Paris Club should be implemented quickly and tied to sustainability criteria.

How the global economic order can contribute to the implementation of the SDGs and thus ensure a “better recovery” from the COVID-19 crisis is the focus of the continuation of the BMZ financed project “Fair Globalisation.”