An inflection point in history
2020 has been a red-letter year, punctuated by the low probability but high impact COVID-19 pandemic that has rewritten the rulebook for us all. As the global economy recovers from this unexpected haymaker that threatened to knock the global economy out cold, it is amply clear that there will be no going back to the patterns of production that prevailed pre-pandemic. Clearly, international trade faces a wrenching adjustment.
The world stands at a critical point in its history, and the need for collaborative growth models ever more imperative, H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, of DP World said that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented India with a unique opportunity to strengthen its standing on the global stage.
Speaking at The Economic Times Global Business Summit, he said, “Today, major industries and global companies are looking for new locations to manufacture. I believe that India can take advantage of supply chain shifts resulting from Covid. I like the Atmanirbhar Bharat idea; it is simple, and will help increase manufacturing in India. I have seen that India has set a target of FDI investment of USD 100 billion over the next 3-4 years. This will send a positive message to investors.”
India and the UAE have enjoyed long-standing and cordial political, business and trade relations over the years, with bilateral trade expected to exceed $100 billion by 2020. Long-term investment flows in both directions and the long-standing ties are a hallmark of trust the two nations have shown in each other.
Digital, a key enabler
The massive economic shock of the pandemic has served to accelerate changes that were in the pipeline, and set economies off in entirely new and unexpected directions as the old normal was brought to a shuddering halt. Digitization has helped many an industry move the needle in these trying times, and His Excellency offered his perspective on this. “Digitization beings ease of doing business. It will be important to use technology to bring the supply chain on an integrated platform, using technologies like Blockchain will also bring transparency and speed as we have seen across the world.”
As seen in other spheres of industry, digital and digitally enabled trade and commerce has doubtlessly been given a fillip by the pandemic, even as traditional trade has been left in a stupor on account of the pandemic. As we move into a post-pandemic, digitally-transformed economy, we need to rewire our understanding of a world in flux if we are to enjoy success in a brave new world.