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Experts call for united efforts to fight COVID, revive economy

Enhanced cooperation, coordination among nations key to global recovery

Enhanced global efforts should be made to cushion against the impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and deal with the mounting downward pressure on economic recovery, experts and analysts said at a global think tank webinar.

Participants of the webinar, or the Global Strategic Dialogue 2021, warned of rising uncertainties and expected policymakers to take more steps to shore up growth next year, with a key focus on dealing with worsening inflation, repairing the global value and supply chains, and fostering innovation-driven growth.

The international webinar themed open global economy was co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and China Daily.

Natalya Ivanova, an academician at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said global recovery remains unbalanced as the pandemic continued to cast a shadow over economies around the world. She expected policymakers to further efforts to tackle the chaos brought by COVID-19 and deal with the negative impact on growth.

Ivanova said policymakers need to take more fiscal and monetary measures to curb inflation. More efforts should be made to repair the global value and supply chains damaged by COVID-19, promoting fair and open competition that leads to more innovation and better results.

Ivanova's views were echoed by Yu Yongding, an academician at CASS, who highlighted the unprecedented challenges faced by the global economy, including the resurgence of COVID-19, the accelerated process of tapering by the US Federal Reserve, and strained ties between China and the United States.

"I believe that China and the US can escape the Thucydides trap, if the two countries can find and fight against common enemies," Yu said.

He listed a wide range of common foes such as global warming, poverty, international terrorism, pollution and pandemics, saying that the most dangerous enemy for the two countries along with all other countries in the world is COVID-19.

"Without close cooperation and coordination among all countries, it is impossible to win the war against COVID-19," Yu said.

When it comes to reviving the global economy, Naoyuki Yoshino, professor emeritus at Keio University in Japan, underlined the importance of encouraging the participation of the private sector in infrastructure investment.

Yoshino, who is also former dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, said infrastructure can create additional tax revenues in the region. The spillover tax revenues can be shared between investors and operators to increase the rate of return on infrastructure investment and encourage more private sector participation.

Referring to criticism that infrastructure harms the environment, he said the two issues of infrastructure investment and climate change should be discussed separately.

He said environmental issues can be solved by measures like a carbon tax and other tax policies as he called for establishing a single and unified green credit rating standard globally to promote green and low-carbon development.

Chandran Nair, founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow, a think tank located in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, warned that the "perpetual" growth driven by an economic model encouraging excessive consumption is not sustainable.

For developing countries, he said economic growth should focus on allowing people to have access to basic resources such as water, safe food and electricity, reducing risks of survival and giving people meaningful respect.

He noted China is doing a good job of focusing on common prosperity, which will help inspire other developing countries to find a new economic model.

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