• The Great Reset Dialogues happen every fortnight.
  • With experts from around the world looking at how we rebuild after COVID-19.
  • Our regular podcasts give you a digest of the highlights.

Governments have spent more than $10 trillion to contain COVID-19 and its economic impact. How much of that could, should, and will go into improving the way we do things, for the sake of the planet and the future of jobs?

That was the question asked at this week's Great Reset Dialogue, a virtual meeting of global experts who, on this occasion, discussed 'Financing a Sustainable Recovery'.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said rescue and stimulus packages had put a "floor" under the global economy. While she urged governments not to wind down those packages, she said they should now be targeted to develop jobs in sectors likely to thrive in the future, rather than just protecting all sectors.

And she warned that developing countries or poorer communities must not be left behind.

"We face a very serious risk of a 'tale of two cities'," Georgieva said.

"The part of the economy that is digital and moving and leaning forward does well and the rest does very poorly."

Kristalina Georgieva

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: "COVID-19, with its severity, spread and speed, shocked the world. It’s possibly the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The pain has been felt all over."

As a minister in a government that currently chairs the G20, he added that richer countries needed to help poorer ones.

"I think we, globally, need to feel the pain of the mis-fortunate more, whether countries, or communities within countries. We need to do more and try to come together as much as we can to support these countries and communities."

Mohammed Al-Jadaan
Value of COVID-19 fiscal stimulus packages in G20 countries as of July 2020, as a share of GDP
Value of COVID-19 fiscal stimulus packages in G20 countries as of July 2020, as a share of GDP
Image: Statista

Anne Richards, CEO of investment firm Fidelity International, said the huge jolt from COVID-19 would mean some companies and sectors will fall and others rise - something that we should not be surprised by.

"Radical happens more often than we think, it's just that we’re conditioned not to think that we can do it," she said.

Anne Richards

Cameron Hepburn, Director and Professor of Environmental Economics at Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford said: "I think we have actually learned something post the last financial crisis. This is a terrible time, but you can’t waste the opportunity to send the economy off in the direction you want."

Cameron Hepburn

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