The world is gradually advancing towards its recovery, after the onslaught of covid-19. However, the pandemic leaves serious lessons and processes that are already part of daily life and that were not expected to develop so prematurely.
One of them is the digital issue, which, according to the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, Michael Spence, has completely transformed the way of seeing business and the economy, says a report published today in the newspaper A Peruvian man.
He considers that the “natural processes” as we knew them even before the pandemic have accelerated their march, forced by a situation that affected every aspect of society but that, in addition, allowed us to see how fragile world economies can be in the face of invisible enemies , regardless of whether they are considered “powers”.
One of the lessons that Spence draws from this situation is the digital transformation of economies and societies. “The pandemic accelerated the adoption of new technologies and we see this with greater emphasis on the medical issue and health care. This transformation was already underway in some senses and forced economies to keep them running and resilient, ”said the specialist.
Obviously, this involved a lot of learning, both at the level of individual and institutional behaviors. “It has been a dramatic acceleration and, like all transformations, it is disruptive and difficult for certain groups of the population,” he said.
According to Spence, after the pandemic, the world will enter a period of extremely rapid changes, which, as a whole, require adaptation of skills, ways of working, normative and regulatory issues. “In other words, rewriting the rules of global participation in the economy, international trade, sustainability, changing the energy matrix; It is, therefore, an extraordinarily complex subject ”.
However, the economist asserted that there are very powerful and inclusive growth opportunities in vital issues such as health and education. “Technology can be at the service of these sectors and can allow more people to access it,” he said.
However, the technological advance that the world is experiencing has dilemmas, especially in employment, as it also generates changes in the way in which companies and industries will begin to produce from now on.
According to Spence, one of these great impacts occurred in the field of logistics or distribution. “We see great advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, in sensors. It is very safe to predict that in 10 or 15 years the manufacturing, practically in its entirety, will be automated in the usual sense of the word; in other words, they will no longer be labor-intensive sectors, ”he stated.
In this sense, the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics argued that global supply networks are being “reconfigured” and that is practically impossible to avoid.
“These changes will have a significant impact on global supply networks and, to some degree, on location. Many people will go through processes that require new skills and job profiles, some may even disappear completely and we will see if there is a combination between automation and labor, that is, if people and machines can continue to work together in the future. . ”
Certainly, vaccination against covid-19 has meant a gradual recovery in the global economy. Many markets are opening up again and productive sectors have already started to march. However, this process is not homogeneous.
“We see limitations in some parts of the world in relation to the advancement of vaccination. In countries in Africa, Asia and even in Latin America, the socio-economic problems they face, whether due to demographic issues, their limited fiscal capacity, inadequate governance, a deficient health sector and the need to restructure their debt, make this process be slow, ”Spence said.
He added that these populations are the perfect breeding ground for the new variants, which ends up increasing the overall cost of vaccination.
“Today, we estimate that the cost of this entire process amounts to around 100 billion dollars and it is a reasonable cost, but that it can be affected if it is not accelerated,” he said.
How are these changes and processes being applied in Peru? For Michael Spence, our country satisfactorily complies with these processes, especially regarding vaccination, which has allowed the economy to recover rapidly (it is estimated that the Peruvian gross domestic product will grow more than 13% this year).
“This shows us that it is possible to achieve more inclusive and equitable growth, although it is not a simple task, politically speaking.”, He declared.
Spence He highlighted the progress made in Peru in fields such as electronic commerce, telecommunications and, little by little, in education and health. Obviously, there is still a long way to go, but the steps that are being taken are important.
“Today we have quite strong tools to achieve much more inclusive growth patterns, particularly to serve the segments of the population with low access to services, those who receive fewer services and who, therefore, cannot yet make a valuable contribution. to society ”, he commented.
In this sense, the economist asserted that The public sector is the employer of last resort and it is necessary to understand that it fulfills a complementary role with the private sector.
“Not only must we know the State on issues such as regulation and macroeconomic policy, we must also see it as an investor, that is, as an investor in large-scale segments that the private sector cannot serve. The balance must go in that direction”, He declared.
“There is still a long way to go, but the steps that are being taken in Peru are important.”
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The digitization process is challenging for the post-pandemic environment