Measures to boost the post-COVID-19 economy around the world

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Published 2020-05-27 14:35

The health crisis linked to the spread of coronavirus has had a strong impact on world economies. While some countries are still in the middle of the crisis, others have come out of the lockdown and are taking action to give a boost and new life to their economy. Let's see together what are the measures implemented by some nations.

In New Zealand, the economy has restarted and the government has announced that it will support citizens who have lost their jobs because of the crisis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern proposes the 4-day working week as a way to rebuild the country and revive domestic tourism now that the borders are closed. According to the Prime Minister, flexible working hours could increase employee productivity by helping them establish a better work-life balance.

The United States looks forward to rebuilding a stronger post COVID-19 economy. The news comes from the White House that officials are discussing dissolving the coronavirus task force to focus on economic recovery. President Trump said: "We cannot keep our country closed. We must reopen." After two months, all 50 states are coming out of the lockdown, but each at their own pace and according to the rules of the governors. While restaurants, shops, gyms, and worship centers have opened in nearly all Florida counties, everything remains closed until June 8 in Washington DC except for stores that sell educational materials, which are only available for collection. The city of New York, and all of its neighborhoods, is still plagued by the virus and citizens are urged to stay indoors until May 28th.

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced a series of measures to help stabilize the economy and all Canadians affected by the crisis. The government has allocated several billion dollars to give direct support to workers, local businesses and families. This support will allow Canadians to pay rent, mortgage or grocery shopping, and will help companies pay employees' salaries. But that's not all because the government is taking further measures to help families such as increasing the amount of the subsidy for minor children and providing a financial contribution to those who must remain at home and that do not have paid holidays.

France will aim for a revitalization that reconciles economic growth and the environment, and will further promote "made in France", according to some. The government also announces that it will put in place support measures for the hotel and restaurant sector. Bruno Le Maire asked some automakers to transfer part of their production activities to France in exchange for state support.

To give a boost to the trade, on May 21, on the occasion of a public holiday, some French shopping centers opened their doors, even if only for one day. Parisians, for example, were able to shop at the Lafayette Galleries of the Champs-Elysée and the Carrousel du Louvre, among others. Also in Paris, some activities have reopened while restaurants and cafeterias are expected to be operational again from June 2nd in green areas.

The Italian government launched anti-coronavirus BTPs and the public response went far beyond expectations. To revive its economy, without increasing citizens' taxes, Italy has decided to sell bonds to both private citizens and investment funds. He raised a total of 22 billion euros. In response to the crisis, Europe offers aid to EU countries through the Recovery Fund. In summary, the European Commission plans to issue 500 billion bonds on the markets, the sale of which will provide non-refundable money to help the nations most affected by COVID-19.

After months of blockade, the Chinese are back to work. If it were not for the use of the mask, everything would seem to have resumed a normal course but the reality is different. To compensate for the slowdown in the economy, many companies have reduced their working hours and wages. In contrast, entrepreneurs on their own are working hard to get their business going.

The Chinese authorities have proposed a two and a half day weekend to entice consumers to spend more and give the economy an upward momentum. Another interesting change, implemented to respect social distancing, affects the working hours of employees. If before it was fixed, some companies now offer flexible hours as long as the nine working hours are respected, including the lunch break.

Flexibility in timetables also allows employeesto reach the office without stress: given that in public transport distances between one passenger and the other must be kept, the capacity is reduced and this causes delays in travel.

On a national scale, the government has allocated several billion yuan to stabilize the economy, providing for tax cuts and aid to small and medium-sized enterprises. The entertainment industry also resumes. On May 11, in Shanghai, the Disney park reopened after being closed for 107 days! Although parades and fireworks are not yet allowed, visitors were excited and happy and the entrance tickets, which had been put up for sale online, were soon sold.

The use of the mask and the temperature control are mandatory but these measures seem little if compared to the newfound freedom of being able to go back to being children for a day!

Article translated from La ripresa economica dopo il COVID-19