15th Brussels Forum: Debate around capitalism and the coronavirus, with the contribution of the Policy Center for the New South

Le Policy Center for the New South a pris part à la 15th edition of the Brussels Forum (through the contribution of its president Karim El Aynaoui, during the session “ Could capitalism survive the coronavirus? ” .

Indeed, the value of capitalism has been altered in emerging markets and people are demanding a different, fairer and more equitable model. Many question the capacity of capitalist societies to meet the challenges posed by the current health crisis. Some argue that the current system poses a threat to the physical health of populations since it leaves millions of workers vulnerable due to growing inequalities. In this case, the system is deemed to be both ineffective and immoral.

During the session devoted to capitalism and the Coronavirus crisis, which was also attended by Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Ira Kalish, chief economist at Deloitte, and Karolina Ekholm, professor in the economics department of the Stockholm University, which argued that “with the trend of adopting protectionist measures, there have been few consequences for globalization, even before the Corona virus crisis hit American trade policy, and of course in Europe with Brexit ”.

This debate, which has been present since the 2008 financial crisis, has called it into question and linked it to the amplified impact of this last crisis. In this case, the pandemic has accelerated the consequences for globalization and raises questions about its effectiveness.

Karim El Aynaoui explained in this connection that “in recent months, the pandemic has exposed the flaws of economic powers, such as the United States and Europe. ”

« On the other hand, he noted, some are beginning to favor multilateralism and trade. Africa, meanwhile, will establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) ”.

The president of the Policy Center for the New South, also a former economist of the World Bank, also expressed his concerns – under the current circumstances – about the possible consequences of power rivalries on the African continent.

« African leaders need to lay the foundation for a strong alliance to promote an average of 5-6% growth over the next 30-40 years. In short, capitalism is evolving, but will not disappear. It will last, although it is expected to undergo several changes to adapt to the current context and needs” , he said.

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