Dr Sami Ullah
THE year of 2020 was very devastating for the earth where millions have missed their dear and near ones on the trajectory of COVID-19. Majority of the workers lost their jobs and facing financial vulnerabilities by increasing the number of poor. Every human being has experienced in the deterioration in education, health and quality of life alongside psychological pressures. In this scenario, 2020 was the toughest year in all the aspects of life and thanks Almighty for the good news of entering in 2021 with new hopes of prosperity.
In December 2020, the globe has celebrated the event of vaccine distribution but even after injecting the few dozes, the COVID starts transmutation. It is expected that this may alter the shapes and have to face COVID shocks even in 2021 with new silhouettes. Secondly, many of the pharmaceutical companies started the production of vaccine after abrupt registration process and this may cause some negative implications of vaccine. It is expected to have some alarming outcome of vaccine which divides the world in two groups, one with willing to take the vaccine and second group denying to take it. Lastly, by following COVID SOPs issued by WHO, human immunity is decreasing and it may cause some other infectious diseases to be active in near future and put severe impact on human living.
On the other hand, UK is leaving the euro-zone and this story is basically negating the theme of globalization. A new campaign of de-globalization may be initiated on strong footings. So this is the right time to rethink on the process of globalization and this may motivate many of the regional blocks to minimize the expansionary policies. It is also worth noting that US president Donald Trump has completed just one term and Joe Biden has been sworn-in as the new President who is expected to rebuild global partnership with friends and foes. It is also expected that Joe Biden will focus on repairing the yesterday, instead of building the future. These both events will change the pattern of world regarding their external politics and economic mechanism.
It may take some time in the adjustment mechanism of BREXIT, primacies of US President and COVID mutations. In this short time of settlement, China can empower their economy, build global coordination and grab the global leadership. This short global break would be the blessing for China to take steps toward the global economic leader. This occurrence can change the philosophy of development from globalization and capitalism toward state owned and controlled system of prosperity. This New Year 2021 is very important for determining the global economic trends and also trickle down the global priorities as well.
As per the research and development in 2021, the world is expecting to welcome 5G technologies which could be the immense breakthrough in the current environment because all the sectors become technology oriented with zero lapse time. It is also to forecast that from 2021, the major portion of market could be in the lap of online/virtual modes where the demand of skilled labour would be enhanced exponentially. There is also a sharp decline in the demand of unskilled and semi-skilled workers, the situation of underdeveloped countries become worse because they have youth bulge but without investment in the skill and education of their masses.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, launch of 5G technologies and increased demand of robots, it is expected that 2021 is the time to initiate the fourth industrial revolution. Research studies have forecast that in the coming couple of years, there are 85 million employees to lose their jobs from the category of unskilled and semi-skilled employment. On the other hand, there will be new jobs creation of 90 million skilled people and this may enhance inequality within the globe. Such sort of expansionary initiatives contribute in the growth of many economies but on the cost of poverty, inequality, unemployment, conflict and instability in the developing regions. In this regard, policy makers should focus on designing some inclusive policies for sustainable development of everyone, irrespective of gender, geography and region.
In 2021, there are very limited opportunities for the developing economies because they have consumer oriented societies and the only beneficiary in this era are the output oriented societies. After COVID-19, the trend may switch toward the agriculture products for immunity development and agriculture-based developing countries can get benefit by expanding the export market for their economic prosperity and employment generation. Developing countries should focus on “Green Growth” for their survival and prosperity. This looks very beautiful, but developing economies have still not prioritized agriculture sector as the leader of development. Secondly, they have good agriculture-based products but due to lack of technical support from state, they have not developed and registered their products for developing their image. Globally, situation of farmers is not very satisfactory and they are considered as vulnerable portion, we can take the example of recent strike of Indian farmers for their basic rights. Developing countries have the potential to uplift their economies based on agriculture output but due to lack of state and institutional support, it looks tough to grab the benefits in current global scenario.
Overall the current situation is very unpredictable for 2021 and can struck more people in poverty and unemployment. There is also dire need to develop strategies for prosperity of the community, combating future pandemics and developing sustainable societies. In the times of crisis, globe has to engage the media, ambassadors and academic institutions to educate the people regarding the management of tough times and also design strategies for inclusive societies for brighter future of the world.
—The writer is Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Gujrat, Pakistan.