World Economic Forum President Borge Brende says the time for countries to prepare for the next crisis is today even as many battle through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
And if countries could band together, Brende thinks some form of prosperous new normal for life will be created as the pandemic gets put in the rearview mirror.
“Countries need to collaborate so we get out of the woods,” Brende told Yahoo Finance Live on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s virtual meetings with global leaders this week. The WEF’s annual in-person gathering — usually held in mid-January — was pushed out until mid-2022 due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Added Brende, “And a normal situation, in my view, is a situation where we again can concentrate on creating jobs, also building prosperity, but also being much more conscious about resilience and being prepared for the next crisis. I think we have too many blind spots. And we have to really, really address those blind spots so that we don’t end up in the same way as we did with the financial crisis in 2008.”
The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report for 2022 sheds light on how difficult it will be to return to normal life, and how few believe it could be done at all.
About 61.2% of responders in the report said they were concerned about the outlook for the world, citing major problems such as climate change and infectious diseases. Only 15.8% held a positive or optimistic outlook for the world.
A mere 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate. Most respondents expect the next three years to be highlighted by either consistent volatility or multiple surprises, or “fractured trajectories” that will create clear winners and losers.
Among the list of worries, climate action failure was at the top. Infectious diseases ranked sixth on things experts and leaders were concerned about.
“We have to focus on rebuilding trust. There is a lot of lack of trust. Globally, we are faced with a very polarized world. And if we are going to succeed in getting trade back on track and also more inclusive growth, we also need countries to collaborate, at least on some of the key topics where there is common interest and should be for cooperation,” Brende added.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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