Posted: 28.10.2021 17:46:00

Professor Fallico: present pandemic is sadly not the last one

The President of Conoscere Eurasia and Chairman of Banca Intesa, Professor Antonio Fallico, has shared his concern during the 14th Eurasian Economic Forum


According to Mr. Fallico, among the important topics of the Verona meeting is the need to rethink the unipolar structure of our world and the neoliberal model of economic development which is common for many countries. “Classical diplomacy alone is no longer enough for this. I hope that during our two-day discussion we will expand the use of business diplomacy opportunities on an international level. This will make it possible to break down geopolitical barriers in favour of international humanistic comprehensive development and contribute to salvation and prosperity of our planet," he stressed.

The Italian expert noted that the years of 2020 and 2021 will go down in history due to an unprecedented global health crisis, as well as because of the economic and social crisis in the world. “COVID is the first pandemic problem that has hit all continents simultaneously and has demonstrated an impressive rate of spread. The coronavirus has produced a strong impact on the employment sphere; tens of millions of people have lost jobs. All of us – politicians, businessmen, ordinary people and intellectuals – should learn an important lesson from the pandemic crisis: the illusion has been cultivated for too long that new digital technologies generated by the fourth digital revolution will ensure linear growth without any restrictions and shocks," Mr. Fallico noted.

Based on his forecasts, humanity will have to face historical challenges in the coming years due to a structural economic crisis which is exacerbated by climate and biodiversity problems. “The COVID pandemic is not a black swan. It’s not an unexpected and unpredictable event for the global economy. It's not even an exogenous shock. It is a catastrophe provoked by people. While causing traumatic changes in nature, it is turning against us all. A medical and economic pandemic is one of the inevitable consequences of the Anthropocene of our modern time when the Earth's environment is subjected to serious violence due to human activity," the President of Conoscere Eurasia stressed.

The expert believes that the neoliberal model acts as the main enemy for global economic development. “Those who still support it are incompetent persons or those who do it in bad faith. The pandemic has created a world with unthinkable social inequality: a world where 3bn people have to live on less than $5.5 a day. Two billion people cannot use electricity, while one percent of the richest people own 18 percent of the world's total wealth. Every year, 30m people die from hunger, including 7m children due to the public debt crisis in their countries. Two billion people suffer from anaemia and 790m – from chronic malnutrition. One billion people cannot write or read their name. The pandemic has increased inequality: as a result, the rich have become richer and the poor – poorer. It has made us realise that there is no viable economic development without a strong system of rules and public services. It forces us to completely reconsider the way we produce and consume,” he said.

Mr. Fallico added, “This pandemic will sadly be not the last one. Deforestation forces us to contact animals whose viruses are unknown to us. The thawing of permafrost threatens to spread of dangerous epidemics, as does intensive farming.”

People will soon have to redesign production, rethink accounting standards in order to increase the reliability of our production systems – and even to radically reconsider the criteria for assessing and determining the gross domestic product. GDP is not a good indicator now since it reflects the quantity, rather than a true quality of growth. Meanwhile, indicators of human development and sustainable economic well-being are important.

According to Mr. Fallico, the pandemic forces us to radically change our social relations, “Today, neoliberalism knows the value of everything and the value of nothing… However, we must understand that human relations and relations with the environment are a true source of values. The fear of a shortage of goods – which we have observed during the pandemic – has a positive side. This frees us from consumer narcissism, from the position when we want everything right now. This brings us back to the basics and quality of human relations and solidarity. So, welcome to the limited world! We should view things soberly and respect the finiteness of our Earth.”

Antonio Fallico added that humanity should think about the types of industry that really need to be developed and which will be a boon for man and nature.