The COVID-19 pandemic crisis is expected to contract global economic activity by six percent and to cause an 11 percent decline in investments in the five years following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic if it is defeated, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde said.
Lagarde made her statements during a virtual event held amid the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings that kicked off on Monday virtually as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
She noted that the pandemic has severely affected domestic activities, working attitudes, shopping, ways of purchasing, trading, and payments.
Lagarde said that 50 percent of work in Europe is practised from home, and only 10 percent of employees are willing to work from office after the end of the pandemic.
She also added that e-commerce and digital payments are dominating the economic and markets scene owing to the pandemic.
Lagarde highlighted the ECB endeavour to adopt the digital euro that aims at decreasing dependence on cash, saying the issue is still being debated.
“Payments and media of currency and banknotes will change entirely on the back of COVID-19,” she asserted.
Regarding the green economy, Lagarde said the pandemic has pushed forward the tendency towards green economy globally, adding that it is important to deal with climate change and its challenges.
She called on policy-makers to support their economies through facilities and financial aids, in addition to supporting the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) amid the crisis to recover quickly.
Lagarde called for drawing a good and innovative regulatory framework for startups, expanding in green economy and digital investments, and advancing education and training as key instruments to implement structural transmission the world needs to recover.