Weak G7 vaccine commitments pose major risk to the global economy – ICC
Reports ahead of the Carbis Bay summit have indicated that the UK and US will commit to the region of 600 million doses of proven vaccines to emerging economies over the next two years. But ICC – the institutional representative of more than 45 million companies – has warned that those commitments still fall short of the major collaborative effort needed to lift the virus’s grip on the global economy.
ICC Secretary General John WH Denton AO said: “Signals from the UK and US ahead of the summit are most certainly welcome, but, seen from a global perspective, little more than small steps towards containing the spread of the virus.
“Put simply, the numbers cited are a drop in the ocean compared to the projected global production of 12 billion doses of proven vaccines this year alone. We see a clear risk that the richest countries in the world will continue to pile up vaccines for home booster shots – in doing so, leaving their own citizens exposed to the boomerang effect of COVID-19 variants and the costs of a continued disruption of global supply chains. ”
ICC made a final call to G7 leaders to commit to a clear and holistic roadmap to gradually bring the pandemic under control and provide vaccines to everyone, everywhere.
Mr. Denton added: “If the G7 wants to show real solidarity with the developing world, there is an obvious starting point: an iron commitment this weekend to share all available surpluses of vaccines and dismantle the trade barriers that continue. to have an impact on providing the tools to end the pandemic – including testing and treatment.
“This should be coupled with a clear commitment to provide seed funding to support a further increase in vaccine production capacity and accelerate deployment in the developing world. The IMF has estimated that US $ 50 billion is needed to do this – a minor investment compared to the potential returns from a rapid fight against the pandemic. “
The global trade institution has again warned of the downside risks to advanced economies of a protracted pandemic – following the ICC study released in January which warned of possible losses of some $ 4.5 trillion for the richest countries in the world.
Mr. Denton concluded: “G7 leaders are making a huge bet with their national economic fortunes if they fail to take concerted action to immunize the world. As demand rebounds in many Western economies, we are already seeing damaging supply shortages in many important sectors – fueling domestic inflationary pressures. The only way for G7 governments to ensure a sustainable economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis is to invest in a major collaborative effort to immunize the world. The business cases for this are crystal clear.