GENEVA / GLOBAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

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24-Mar-2022 00:04:41
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been the “main contributing factor” to the potentially devastating one percent drop in projected global economic growth this year, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Thursday, in its latest global economic update. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / GLOBAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
TRT: 4:41
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 24 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

24 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“The main headline is a downgrading of the projection for global growth this year, we anticipated back in September of last year that the global economy would grow by around 3.6 percent. We expect it to grow by 2.6 percent this year and of course, the main contributing factor to that is the war in Ukraine.”
4. Wide shot, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“There is a rapidly worsening outlook for the world’s economy, and to think that this year, the year after two years of crisis with COVID-19, the average rate of growth of the world economy will be 2.6 percent, down from 5.5 percent last year, and down from the projections that were made in the last quarter of 2021.”
6. Wide shot, participants in press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“We are asking for the strengthening of the measures that will help developing countries to cope with this situation and we need emergency measures from the IMF and World Bank. It’s very important to activate the immediate funding, the rapid funding instruments that the IMF has. “
8. Close up, view finder of camera
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“The conditions are worsening for everybody, because on top of the problem of climate change and the IPCC report was mentioned, and you have been seeing these days, you know, the reports on the Horn of Africa and the drought that is really affecting these countries. On top of that we have still the consequences of COVID-19. We are not yet in a post-COVID era. You are seeing what is happening in now in China where new lockdowns are being put in place and on top of that, we have the war in Ukraine.”
10. Med shot, speakers at dais
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“Already, countries are going back to the IMF. Pakistan went back at the end of last year. Sri Lanka has now gone to the IMF to organise a programme. Egypt, which was already under a programme, has gone back to the IMF to renegotiate. And these are countries – these are not least developed countries, these are middle-income countries that are under very serious economic and in some cases political pressure, as a consequence of the shocks that they now face.”
12. Wide shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“The brunt is being carried by the developing countries because of the rise in prices of food, of energy and fertilizers that is very steep and also the financial stretch under which the developing countries are already under.”
14. Close up, screen
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“All regions of the global economy will be adversely affected by this crisis, some more than others. And of course, there will be winners, particularly high commodity exporters. But the European Union will see a fairly significant downgrade in its growth performance this year, but so will parts of central and southern Asia as well.”
16. Med shot, videographer
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
“Debt servicing in 2020 for developing countries, excluding China, was already one trillion USD. That was the kind of financial pressure that developing countries are in. We know, and we have argued in the past, that the initiatives from the G20, the Debt Service Suspension Initiative is welcome, we welcomed it, but it was clearly insufficient, it provided something of the order of 11 billion USD for the countries that were eligible.”
18. Various shots, press room

STORYLINE:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been the “main contributing factor” to the potentially devastating one percent drop in projected global economic growth this year, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Thursday, in its latest global economic update.

“The main headline is a downgrading of the projection for global growth this year,” said Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, speaking in Geneva. “We anticipated back in September of last year that the global economy would grow by around 3.6 per cent. We expect it to grow by 2.6 per cent this year and of course, the main contributing factor to that, is the war in Ukraine.”
With inflation on the rise and developing countries already weighed down by a one trillion USD debt burden to pay back to creditors, the UN body decried the inadequate financial measures already taken to help them withstand exchange rate instability, rising interest rates and soaring food and fuel prices.

Wholesale multilateral fiscal reform - possibly on the scale and ambition of the US Marshall Plan that shouldered Western Europe following the Second World War - is urgently needed to improve the financial liquidity of developing countries to prevent them - and even middle-income countries - from potentially going under, UNCTAD insisted, as it appealed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

“There is a rapidly worsening outlook for the world’s economy and to think that this year, the year after two years of crisis with COVID-19, the average rate of growth of the world economy will be 2.6 per cent, down from 5.5 per cent last year, and down from the projections that were made in the last quarter of 2021,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan.

In particular, Grynspan called for “emergency measures from the IMF and World Bank”, namely the activation of rapid funding instruments which IMF can provide to help countries with looming balance of payments problems.

“Conditions are worsening for everybody,” continued the UNCTAD chief, noting how the climate crisis has played its part, along with successive droughts in the Horn of Africa, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.

Even relatively wealthy countries that are struggling with multiple cost-of-living pressures have already sought help from the international system to keep them afloat.

“Pakistan went back (to the IMF) at the end of last year,” said Kozul-Wright. “Sri Lanka has now gone to the IMF to organise a programme. Egypt, which was already under a programme, has gone back to the IMF to renegotiate. And these are countries – these are not least developed countries, these are middle-income countries that are under very serious economic and in some cases political pressure, as a consequence of the shocks that they now face.”

But it is the world’s poorest, import-dependent countries that will be worst-hit by the global economic downturn, UNCTAD insisted.

“The brunt is being carried by the developing countries because of the rise in prices of food, of energy and fertilisers that is very steep and also the financial stretch under which the developing countries are already under,” said Grynspan.

Although “all regions of the global economy will be adversely affected by this crisis”, Richard Kozul-Wright, suggested that “high commodity exporters” were likely to do well from a rise in prices. “But the European Union will see a fairly significant downgrade in its growth performance this year, but so parts of central and southern Asia as well,” he said.

UNCTAD’s policy recommendations include the need for global financial reform to allow developing countries the economic space for reasonable growth so that they can service potentially crippling debt levels.

“Debt servicing in 2020 for developing countries excluding China was already one trillion USD, that was the kind of financial pressure that developing countries are in,” Richard Kozul-Wright said. “We know and we have argued in the past that the initiatives from the G20, the Debt Service Suspension Initiative is welcome, we welcomed it, but it was clearly insufficient, it provided something of the order of 11 billion USD for the countries that were eligible.”
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