Davos calls for saving post-war globalization: “We are facing an accumulation of disasters, the toughest challenge since 1945”

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Geopolitical tensions push a “geoeconomic fragmentation” that “harms everyone regardless of their income”.

participants in the inauguration
Participants attending the opening of the Davos Forum this SundayGian ErenzelerEFE

The World Economic Forum reopened its doors after a two-year postponement due to the pandemic and for years in Davos with an unimaginable mission: save globalization. That is, to curb trends that threatened to break decades of global trade liberalization and a system in which the space to produce goods was undermined.

Annual meeting begins two absences hitherto unimaginable; Snow and the Russian oligarch, The traditional January call had to be postponed due to the pandemic and the Russian billionaire who has been a regular hero of the Davos meetings cannot attend this year. Nor members of the Russian government. “It’s the right decision”, explained the Norwegian, the Forum’s president. borge brandeWhich insists that Russia will be able to return to the Swiss alpine resort if it respects the UN Bill of Rights in the future.

But the biggest surprise is to protect globalization, which the Forum has seen as invincible and inevitable since the last century. Especially after the famous speech of the Chinese President Xi Jianping In Davos in 2017 when he defended globalization against skeptics Donald Trump, Globalization was so strong that it was defended by a communist against the protectionist temptations of the ideological champions of American neoliberals. All of that is prehistory now.

The pandemic and the breakdown of supply chains have provoked a reversal of globalization, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. ,We must oppose geo-economic fragmentation. “Only international cooperation can solve global problems such as solving food and other shortages, removing barriers to development and saving our climate,” says the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Kristalina Georgieva, before interfering in the Forum this Monday. This fragmentation will “harm everyone, regardless of their income.”

In an article with his colleagues, the Bulgarian makes a bleak summary of the situation: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the Covid-19 pandemic, one crisis after another, devastating lives, dragging down growth and inflation. is increasing. High food and energy prices are affecting homes around the worldIn parallel, “the tightening of financial conditions is putting even more pressure on nations, Highly indebted companies and families [como es el caso de Espaa], And countries and companies are continually reevaluating global supply chains amid disruptions.”

Add this piece: “Add to this the increasing volatility in financial markets and the continuing threat of climate change, We face the calamity of disasters” Which, in his opinion, are subjecting the world economy to “its toughest test since the Second World War”.

“The return of war, the pandemic and the climate crisis, all these disruptive forces have derailed the global recovery”, the forum’s founder said, klaus schwab, “These issues must be addressed in Davos; the global food crisis, in particular, requires our immediate attention.”

According to Georgieva, the formation of blocs after the war in Ukraine influenced globalization, but it was already dragging problems. Only in 2019 did the uncertainty surrounding it cut the growth of the world economy by a point and currently “nearly 30 countries have restricted trade in food, energy and other key commodities.”

How to avoid this return to protectionism? The IMF recalls the success of globalization: “Over the past three decades, the flow of capital, goods, services and people has transformed our world, aided by the spread of new technologies and ideas. These unifying forces have increased productivity and has promoted the standard of living, triple the size of the world economy and lift 1.3 billion people out of extreme poverty”, But they also acknowledge that the Forum, which also includes Wall Street sharks like Ray Dalio, will have to cope so that the system does not collapse. “Inequalities of income, wealth and opportunity have long been in many countries and have been getting worse between countries in recent years. People have been left behind as industries have to adapt amid global competition“, says the Managing Director of the IMF:

She offers four recipes in the forum: “Strengthen business by removing barriers to lower prices”; “Cooperation for Debt Restructuring of the Most Vulnerable Indebted Countries”; “Modernizing the International System of Cross-Border Payments”; and “accelerating the energy transition”, but “with a global outlook” and “compensating those affected”.

The absence of officials from the two major world economic powers, the US and China, tarnishes the current edition of the Forum, although 50 heads of state and government, including the German Chancellor, will participate. Olaf ScholzoThe Emir or the President of the Government of Qatar, Pedro Sanchez. Also telematically, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

In parallel, what is expected of 1,250 business leaders and a hundred tech entrepreneurs is what they don’t want, that they live by globalization.

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