Approximately 120 undergraduate students from Vi core university member, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, Pakistan, took part in a videoconference delivered by UNCTADs expert, Piergiuseppe Fortunato, May 4.
Fortunato, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, based his presentation on UNCTAD's latest Trade and Development Report, entitled “Beyond Austerity: Towards a Global New Deal.”
The discussion began with an overview of recent trends in the world economy, highlighting the current economic fragility in the context of a weak global demand. It also examined the main contributors to rising inequality in the global economy, including automation (and the use of robots), financialization and growing corporate market power.
With reference to the latter, Fortunato argued that far too much has been made of trade and technology in explaining the problems currently faced by many economies in a globalized world economy. Instead, he underlined the importance of market power, rent-seeking behavior and winner-take-most rules of the game, which have generated exclusionary outcomes. This growing concentration of financial and non-financial markets has potentially corrosive consequences for the political system.
Fortunato concluded by stressing the need of the need of a global new deal to build more inclusive economies. This would require the adoption of a set of key policy measures, including 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 toward income redistribution.