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‘Pace of Covid recovery depends on speed of vaccination’

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Amid surge in cases, hospitals face shortage of Covid vaccinesAthens, May 15 (IANS): The global economic outlook has improved in recent months, but uncertainty remains very high, Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), told a forum here.

“The pace of the recovery still depends on the speed of vaccination,” he said while addressing the ongoing Delphi Economic Forum VI on Friday.

According to an OECD analysis released this spring, the global gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 5.6 per cent this year, and by 4 per cent in 2022.

If vaccination rollout is slow and the virus remains in high circulation with a variant, global GDP could be about 2 per cent below the main projection by late 2022, Gurria stressed.

Many speakers at the forum, which will conclude on Saturday, agreed that trade plays a vital role in economic recovery.

“It’s important to open new ways and new routes with different regions in the world,” said Eurico Brilhante Dias, Portuguese Secretary of State for Internationalization.

“The multilateral trade system is crucial to have a fairer, better trade with rules,” he stressed. According to him, protectionism will not give more growth, more opportunities.

One of the positive aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is that it accelerated digital transformation in many European Union countries including Greece, Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, told the forum, adding that digital transformation will also help recovery.

“Digital solutions enabled us to keep on working and member states to support businesses and citizens during the pandemic,” she said.

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