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International Economic Cooperation Must Be a Priority


Since 1945, policy cooperation has been essential to managing international economic crises and improving long-term outcomes for the world’s population.

As well as being a human tragedy, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented economic shock for the world economy. Global output is estimated by the IMF to have fallen by 3.5 per cent in 2020, and all countries – big and small, rich and poor – have been hit.

There is now an increasingly clear route to bring the immediate crisis to an end by relying on a mass vaccination programme unprecedented in speed and scale. But implementation remains complex and risky, while the long-term consequences of the pandemic – impacts on health, acquisition of skills, and the accelerated spread of technology – remain highly uncertain.

International economic cooperation can play a crucial role in securing the smoothest possible immediate exit from the pandemic and in minimizing the risk that a similar crisis will happen again. It can also help minimise the long-term costs from the pandemic’s extraordinary legacy and maximise the benefits from national efforts to build back better.

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