Vaccine for the COVID-19 is coming, so perhaps now is the time to start talking about the local economy post COVID-19.

The government has already rolled out its much talked about re-direction policy. While this is a positive step, the fact is the re-direction policy is, at its core, just a re-direction of funds – so there is no new money involved.

The policy also looks at prioritizing the productive sector – but this appears to be just an injection of cash capital, or some assistance to improve production capacity. Essentially what this policy may achieve is to bring production levels back to where it was before the virus – or sustaining it at current levels. So, no new ideas involved.

At the heart of any policy redirection is the need to redirect – which means not just a reallocation of funds or prioritizing spending, but a change in approach. We need to be looking at market trends – and make informed decisions which should guide our policy thinking and design, that is if we are serious about boosting the productive sector.

Let’s take for example the agriculture sector – it is our strength since we have good fertile land, a labor force that does not require much training to cultivate crops – and two sizeable markets next door in Australia and New Zealand.

Simple market research tells us that the current fad is to reduce one’s carbohydrate intake. This is an opportunity for our farmers, and entrepreneurs, to produce vegetables that replaces starch-dense staples. There are many other opportunities within this sector, but it will need a lot of research and development, one that considers global trends and projections.

It seems likely that there will be a resurgence or popular mandate for a more open international trading environment as a basic imperative for economic recovery post COVID-19. It is about time we expand and invest in growth commodities - fundamental indicators are telling us that resource demand in the 2020s will increase substantially compared to the 2010s.

In the 2020s specifically, we expect global population to expand by 0.8 billion to 8.5 billion, urban population to expand by 0.8 billion to 5.2 billion and nominal GDP to expand by $65 trillion to $152 trillion.

Source: News Desk