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Bolsonaro: Domination of global production accelerated loss of lives during pandemic
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 09 - 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic would have taken a lower toll on human lives if global production was not dominated by a handful of states, Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, said at the virtual edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020), which is being held on Friday and Saturday.
President Bolsonaro used his participation at the summit to call for a fundamental overhaul of the system and further integration of a larger number of countries into global supply chains.
"We will join forces with our partners to mitigate those distortions in global productive activity that the pandemic has made even more evident," Bolsonaro said.
"It is a fact that certain regions have come to dominate some stages of the production chain and, as a result, the rest of the world has become dependent on the supplies they manufacture. It is this imbalance, which causes shortages, particularly of personal protective equipment and pulmonary ventilators.
"If the supply of such items were not restricted to such a small group of countries the cost of the pandemic in human lives would have been lower. The long-term response to the situation of shortages that we are dealing with lies with the further integration of a larger number of countries into global chains and Brazil is ready to do its part."
Bolsonaro was joined by Armen Sarkissian, president of Armenia; Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, and Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah II of Jordan, to address topics related to ‘Restoring prosperity in a post-pandemic world' at the #GMIS2020 Virtual Summit.
Delivering a keynote address, H.R.H. Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Crown Prince of Jordan warned against countries choosing isolationism in response to the crisis and called for solidarity and a new era of global cooperation to face the challenges of the pandemic.
Prince Hussein said: "Instead of abandoning our global system of cooperation and multilateralism, Jordan, led by King Abdullah II, believes a better global integration is the way forward — a re-globalization that builds on the strengths and resources of each of us, for the benefit of all, ensuring global synergy and prosperity.
"Instead of falling into the trap of nationalism, protectionism, and division, we can choose global solidarity and economic reconstruction. Instead of every country for itself, hoarding food and medical supplies, we can strive towards a better balance between self-sufficiency and interdependency."
Sarkissian participated in a fire-side chat and highlighted that his focus, as the leader of a small country, was on preparing his people for the future by building a world-class education system that puts special emphasis on science and technology.
"Armenia is affected by the coronavirus, like any other country, we are facing the same challenges ahead," he said. "But the solution is to be at the vanguard of the future, not at the back of it. And this means investing in education, science, and technology.
"That's why as president, I created an initiative called ATOM, Advanced Tomorrow, which involves creating joint ventures with world renowned companies on artificial intelligence and other new technologies. I hope and I believe that it is possible to make a small country an advanced one."
Sarkissian said successful small countries around the world are investing in science, technology and education and that it could be beneficial for them to share learnings with each other.
"I've been speaking to leaders of several successful small states and advocating an idea that we should create a club," Sarkissian said.
"This may be a place where we come together to share our experiences. Go back thirty years and who could have imagined that a state from the Gulf could send their scientific equipment to Mars?
" It was unimaginable, but today it's a reality. So, there is a new world opening for small and smart states and I want to make Armenia one of them."
Hun Sen delivered a keynote address highlighting how the pandemic provided an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation and to strengthen regional collaboration among ASEAN countries.
He said: "While the COVID-19 pandemic severely affects global public health, international trade and investment, global value chains and well-being, the crisis has, however, helped us to speed up rapidly the adoption of the industry 4.0 in terms of the digitalization across industries and organizations, communication and workflow.
"The ASEAN community has depended on global value chains but the COVID-19 crisis will help us to work together on creating a regional value chain to promote regional investment and trade activities among the ASEAN member states."
The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020) is a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Under the theme – Glocalization: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Global Value Chains, the third edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (#GMIS2020) has gathered a cross-section of close to 100 global leaders from the world's public and private sector to participate across more than 20 virtual sessions to discuss pathways to accelerate the role of fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies to build more resilient global value chains and restore prosperity in a post-pandemic world. — SG

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