To watch the full webinar:
On May 20th, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in partnership with Chosun-Illbo held the Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) webinar on the ‘Global Economic Recovery from COVID-19,’ featuring keynote speakers CKGSB Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization Xiang Bing; Harvard University Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Robert Barro; and Chairman of the Institute for Global Economics Dr. Jun Kwang-Woo.
Launched in 2005 by Chosun Illbo, ALC is a leading global event with over 170 world-class leaders gathering each year to review and resolve pending issues on diplomacy, security, industry and the economy. With over 800,000 viewers tuned in to this year’s online webinar, the speakers debated and discussed on the topic of a global economic recovery from COVID-19.
Dean Xiang Bing opened the webinar by analyzing what was required to meet the challenges raised by the pandemic on a global, national and corporate level. “Globally, many issues and challenges we have today pre-date the outbreak, as we had dysfunctional global governance. One reason is that the US has been reluctant to take on the leadership role, and the rivalry between China and the US adds to the issue,” he explained.
On a national level, Xiang Bing emphasised that the outbreak of COVID-19 points to the end of the World Trade Organization (WTO) era. “I see a flood of bilateral and trilateral regional deals emerging and I think at the national and business level, we will see a very different layout in terms of trade,” he added. At a corporate level, with the trade restrictions, capital will be a challenge. Xiang Bing advised global companies to rethink their global supply chains, diversify, and to be prepared for unplanned hindrances such as the outbreak.
Professor Robert Barro addressed the outlook of a global economic recovery with an optimistic prediction for the US economy. “From the perspective of the US and wealthier countries, we are indeed experiencing a sharp reduction of GDP, this is an unprecedented situation. But the most important issue is not the contraction, but what will come next in terms of recovery. I am optimistic in terms of this, I expect a sharp V-shape recovery in the US. Partly because capital is in place, most of the linkages between firms, workers and suppliers will be maintained,” he said.
When elaborating on US economic policies in place for COVID-19, Professor Barro explains that “there is no point in having massive monetary and fiscal policy stimulus. Normally you do so to boost GDP, however it makes no sense in the short-term. It is however, a good idea to keep financial institutions intact, similarly you do not want a large issue in the housing market. I think there is some case for the government to allow firms to keep their workforce. It also makes sense to expand social safety net programs, but the US package is excessive, creating an increase in unemployment insurance. Workers are being subsidised not to go to work.”
Dr. Jun Kwang-Woo reiterated on the importance of the US-China relationship and that China and the US should rebuild trust, avoid confrontation and promote cooperation. Dr. Jun Kwang-Woo emphasized how the two biggest economies should lead by demonstrating responsible leadership, building resilience and sustainable economies.
Moderated by Dr. Jun Kwang-woo, Dean Xiang Bing and Professor Robert Barro then examined the current relationship between China and the US, and economic policies and tradeoffs between curbing the spread of the virus and economic recovery. Despite concerns of escalating tensions, permanent changes in global trade and movement, all 3 speakers were optimistic and confident in their general outlooks on economic recovery and containing the spread.
For more information and details on the webinar, visit: https://english.ckgsb.edu.cn/new/global-economic-recovery-from-covid-19-pandemic/