Washington, Oct 16 — Strong international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines could speed up the world economic recovery and add $9 trillion to global income by 2025, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.

She emphasized the need for vaccines to be distributed evenly across the world in both developing countries and wealthy nations, to boost confidence in travel, investment, trade and other activities.

“If we may make fast progress everywhere, we could speed up the recovery. And we can add almost $9 trillion to global income by 2025, and that in turn could help narrow the income gap between richer and poorer nations,” Georgieva said.

“We need strong international cooperation and this is most urgent today for vaccine development and distribution,” she said.

Equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines globally will be key to avoiding long lasting scars on the world economy, the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee said in its statement.

Georgieva also said she had “no doubt” that the U.S. Congress and the White House would ultimately agree on another spending package but was uncertain about the timing. Some $3 trillion in U.S. stimulus spending earlier this year “has been an important positive impulse and we would like to see how it would be continued again,” she said.

Georgieva also called on the United States and China to keep up strong economic stimulus that could help boost a global recovery.

The IMF predicted a 2020 global contraction of 4.4 percent in its latest economic outlook report, an improvement over a 5.2 percent contraction predicted in June.

China is the only economy in the world to show positive growth in 2020 as its GDP is predicted to expand 1.9 percent this year, said the outlook.

(With input from Reuters)


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