(Sept 23, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday expressed apprehension that coronavirus can kill globalization.
After the 2008 global financial crisis the US-China trade war has shaken the foundations of globalization and the pandemic may be the last nail in the coffin of free-market mantra, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the concept is getting unpopular among people, US is not ready to play its due role due to financial difficulties, other nations are not well-placed while China is ready to go to any extent to safeguard its interests which can shatter globalization.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that many countries have lifted or eased lock down triggering economic activities but the movement of goods, services, immigrants, capital, services and flow of information may never gain pre-pandemic levels contracting global economy.
He said that the US is discouraging overseas investment and migration while it is pressurizing companies to shift their manufacturing back to the US so that the maximum number of Americans can get jobs.
EU, Japan and other countries are also following the suit while India is trying to attract almost 1000 US companies which may leave China. Resultantly, China has also cut investment in the US which will be reduced gradually.
The emerging scenario will make goods and services costly in the developed world while efforts of the developing nations to defeat poverty will get a blow.
Nationalism and protectionism will create a gulf between nations hitting efforts to combat global problems. Many countries may allow trade and migration from only those nations where health similar protocols are followed which will be a doomsday situation for free trade.
He said that China will spend four trillion dollars on Belt and Road initiative (BRI) which has been accepted by 138 countries. Pakistan’s government, policymakers and business community should try to get maximum benefit from the opportunities arising from the Chinese move and adjust to the international market.