Economic Resilience in the Face of the Coronavirus


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This week, GENN published its first research paper – Economic Resilience in the Face of the Coronavirusin which its three authors call for an ‘immediate end’ to the ‘air quarantine policy’ that is harming the UK economy’s recovery.

The paper’s authors, Shanker Singham, Chairman of GENN and a former adviser to the US Trade Representative and UK Trade Secretary,  Daniel A. Gottschald of Technical University Munich, and Lars Karlsson, a former director of the inter-governmental World Customs Organisation, argue that the government’s ‘burdensome and clunky air bridge policy’ should be replaced by a system of ‘testing at all airports’ as happens in Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, allowing essential business travel to take place again. This was further outlined in a report in The Telegraph.

The paper’s authors further argue that now is the precise time to open up the UK economy to competition and accelerate trade flows and not pursue interventionist and distortive fiscal measures. The report comes as debate intensifies in Britain over the prospect of future tax rises in the aftermath of record government borrowing and debt.

A key recommendation made in the paper calls for the establishment of ‘global superhighways’ to connect the world’s major hi-tech economies. Turbocharging corridors between the world’s economic powerhouses such as London-NY, London-UAE and London-Singapore will create faster flows of goods, services and people, thereby facilitating as swift an economic recovery as possible.

On the publication of the research paper, GENN Chairman Shanker Singham, said:

“Talking of tax increases before we’ve got essential business travel flowing and opened up our economy is precisely the wrong focus. The focus should be on good governance so that businesses can flourish: embracing free trade, maintaining competitive markets, strengthening property rights and rejecting isolationism, interventionism and protectionism. 

“And let’s not forget that having left the EU, there’s a whole world of global growth out there that can help us recover from COVID through free trade deals and ensuring our regulatory environment is as pro-competitive as it can be”.

The full research paper can be downloaded here.

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