Viewpoint: Globalization amidst the Pandemic

06 APR,2020 | MEDC


More than anything else, Covid-19 has underlined the world’s interconnectedness. Accurate monitoring of the pandemic’s progress, the search for vaccines and scientific cures, the sharing of containment and treatment protocols, and, potentially, of medical supplies, have now all become matters of national prestige. At the same time, there is a backlash against globalization, whose basic logic is that when Wuhan caught Covid-19 the entire world sneezed. The magnificent trans-continental supply chains, which form the circulatory system of the global economy, proved highly efficient in spreading the deadly effects of Covid-19 (both medically and financially) to far flung regions of the planet. We should resist the temptation to cave in to such arguments which attempt to reverse globalization.All said and done, globalization is a double-edged sword … it can work both for and against a nation, depending on how it is used. The fact is that we have now gone too far down the road to turn back. Of course, globalization should not prevent us from supporting our domestic industry, even if it comes at a relatively higher cost compared to the outsourced alternatives. The key is not to halt (or even slow down) globalization but to ensure that we are henceforth not dependent on a single foreign source of supply of any raw material(s) required for our production processes.Thanks to globalization, we have all been brought closer together, and as a result are collectively more susceptible to viral outbreaks and other health issues than ever before in human history. But that same connectedness has given us an unprecedented arsenal of technological tools that have been deployed globally with varying degrees of success in this multidimensional crisis. Rather than let the pandemic make our thinking more insular, it should broaden our imagination to the innate potential of modern science. Being globally interconnected may have facilitated Covid-19, but that could also be how we will eventually get the better of it. All world leaders need to realize this, and work to reinforce weakened technocratic multilateral institutions, including the World Trade Organization. In the long run, that approach is best not only for any individual country, but also for the entire global economy and our future generations.

*Photo Credit: Google

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