The coronavirus has crippled the world economy. Global GDP suffered its sharpest drop since the end of the second world war in 2020, millions were unemployed or furloughed, and governments pumped trillions of dollars into their economies to prevent greater damage.

Nevertheless, a 2021 recovery is very uncertain. China’s economy is growing strongly again, but many of the world’s richest nations may not fully rebound until 2022 at the earliest.

Inequality is also rampant. While America’s 651 billionaires have increased their net worth by 30% to US$4 trillion, a quarter of a billion people in developing countries could face absolute poverty, and up to half the global workforce may have lost their livelihoods.

Advantage Asia

The speed at which the pandemic can be contained will have a huge bearing on how the world economy performs. In the race between new virulent strains of the virus and the vaccine roll-out, early…

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