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Vi officer in charge, Igor Paunovic (left) and UNCTAD economist, Ricardo Gottschalk during a videoconference with Pakistan's IBAMaster's students from Vi Pakistani core university member, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA),took part in a videoconference delivered by UNCTAD expert Ricardo Gottschalk, December 8. About 150 students from the business school attended the conference, based on UNCTAD's Trade and Development Report, entitled “Beyond Austerity: Towards a Global New Deal.”

Ricardo Gottschalk, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, discussed the recent trends in the world economy and highlighted the current economic fragility in the context of a weak global demand. The presentation also provided a discussion of the main contributors to rising inequality in the global economy, including automation (and the use of robots), financialization and growing corporate market power.

The discussion that followed gave students an in-depth view of the current issues and challenges facing the global economy and the need for an alternative route to build more sustainable and fairer economies.

Questions by the students included the use of robots and the threats to job displacement and wage erosion, patent rights as a key rent seeking strategy, ways to forge technological development in developing countries and the relationship between inequality and financial instability. Gottschalk concluded by stressing the need of a global new deal and that, concretely, key measures should include ditching austerity and pursuing instead pro-employment policies, enhancing public investment, seeking more fiscal space through adoption of a more progressive tax system, taming financial capital by regulating more forcefully the financial sector, curbing corporate power through stronger anti-trust policies and undertaking concrete steps towards income redistribution.

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