Highlights of the Davos Forum 2021

The pandemic has been the focus of a meeting that, for the first time in its history, has not been able to take place in person. However, the WEF intends to resume the discussion in May, when this situation is under control.

Last week, immersed in a scene very agitated by the amount of economic publications that economists knew, the 51st edition of the annual meeting organized by the World Economic Forum (in English, World Economic Forum) was held, as every year. Davos, Switzerland.

A meeting in which, as usual, the main political leaders, as well as business and civil, meet to address those issues most relevant to the planet, as well as its economy and society. An event that, in its edition for this year, and given the situation that this planet presents due to the pandemic, has had to adapt to the digital format, postponing a second part of it, in face-to-face format, to the month of May.

However, despite the inability to do this event in person, we are talking about one of the most outstanding economic events of the year. The meeting held by the WEF, as every year, is configured as the most important event of the year, and in which the main leaders on the planet, including the main economists from around the world, will address the situation, as well such as the weaknesses and strengths that our economy presents in an unusual setting in our history.

However, and despite the fact that this face-to-face phase is expected in the middle of the second quarter, the situation required an immediate analysis, as well as a sharing of the situation among the main leaders of the planet.

For this reason, this meeting not only enjoyed that importance that it also enjoyed in past years, but it could also be beneficial to manage a situation that requires even more efficient management, and for which the main countries in the planet has been greatly outmatched, not being able to lead, as in past crises, global action. All this, while we must not forget the existence of other countries that, without a leader on which to base themselves, and due to their lack of resources and their inability to face this situation, as is the case of some emerging economies, have not been able to even fight it.

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The big reboot

As we know, the global economy has been severely shaken by an event that, as if it were a black swan, no one on the planet expected. At the end of last year, the economy was succumbed by a health crisis that, later, would lead to a severe economic crisis. An economic crisis that turned all economies in the world upside down, generating in these very severe contractions, which do not register a single precedent in their historical series. Such is the case that it is necessary to look through the history books, and go back to periods of war, to find, in economies like Spain, for example, moments of contraction similar to those that are registered today.

For this reason, given the current scenario and that the arrival of the vaccine is beginning to be a fact, the meeting organized by the agency this year was held under the title “The great restart.” And it is that, since we are talking about a crisis caused by a health crisis, the economy, in theory, expects to recover as soon as said health crisis passes, and health, as well as the health systems themselves that today are collapsed, return to your starting situation. A situation for which we have to be prepared and, when the restart and resumption of economic activity arrive, reinforce the systems with the sole purpose that, in the future, we can better deal with this type of situation.

Thus, the topics addressed in this year’s edition are closely related to those discussed in the last edition. Make the planet a more just and integrated planet, promoting the reduction of inequalities; face technological challenges with optimism, but always thinking of the human being; the future of the labor market, and the challenges it faces; a more sustainable and healthy future, in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); or geopolitical tensions, these being a clear conditioning factor in the recovery, were the topics discussed at the meeting. All this, yes, focusing on the crisis that we face today and on COVID as the axis of the meeting.

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And it is that, in summary, although the planet presents many imbalances, such as those mentioned, that we must combat, as well as numerous challenges that must be addressed to achieve progress and optimal development in all the economies of the planet, the truth is that nothing of This will be possible, or at least within a reasonable period of time, if we do not correct the situation that is before us today and we do not resume the economy as soon as possible. Well, it is useless to talk about all the challenges posed by the economy, if first we do not address the management of a crisis that still has many unknowns on the horizon to clear.

An inclusive recovery

With the publication by the IMF of the perspectives for the world economy on the table, the recent victory of Biden after the assault on the capitol of the oldest democracy on the planet, in addition to another series of events, more than 1,500 participants were They gave an appointment at this virtual event to address an economic crisis from which we must recover.

In this sense, little should be noted of the meetings that were held in this event, since the essential ones addressed the health crisis and the management of the pandemic. A pandemic that the main leaders on the planet intend to combat with multilateralism and cooperation between countries. For the main leaders in the world, multilateralism and cooperation are the ways to face the situation that is shown today; roads that, to date, have been blocked by the tensions that, with the pandemic, had been generated. And the fact is that, if we can highlight something from the message emitted by these, it is that we cannot speak of recovery, if we do not speak of cooperation and union first.

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In other words, the IMF, through its report, published an upward revision in expectations that awakens the optimism of the rulers, given a slight improvement in the economy in the coming months. However, this pandemic has exacerbated the internal weaknesses shown by many economies on the planet. And it is that, if we look at the statements made by the agency, many variables are shown that condition the strength of the recovery and that, contrasting countries, will make it vary considerably depending on access to medical interventions, the effectiveness of policy support , exposure to cross-border economic repercussions, as well as the structural characteristics of each economy at the beginning of the crisis.

In short, we are talking about a situation that we must all combat, as well as doing so in a coordinated way and promoting cooperation. Recovering ourselves is the first task that must be tackled, according to the World Economic Forum itself. However, if not done as required, the agony could spread to less capable economies, generating an uneven, unsustainable, damaging and incomplete recovery.

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