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Save Globalisation to Secure the Future

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

By Henry M. Paulson, Jr. (original source Financial Times)

Covid-19 has resulted in more than a deadly pandemic. It has tipped the world economy into its most severe crisis since the Depression.

As the virus’s spread slows and governments rebuild, they face another force sweeping in its path: isolationism. The impending battle will pit forces of openness rooted in market principles against those of closure across four dimensions: trade, capital flows, innovation and global institutions.

Allowing an economic iron curtain to descend would imperil the recovery and jeopardise economic and social stability. Individual nations must resist efforts to slash cross-border linkages and global institutions will need to step up and transform.

The world has prospered because of integration. But even before the pandemic, the balance was tilting towards closed economies. Now recession, surging unemployment and China’s failure to handle the coronavirus outbreak transparently are emboldening these voices. We should recalibrate while retaining the best features of globalisation. The right policies lie not on an end but on the continuum between openness and closure.

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