Global food prices remained stable in spite of COVID-19 – World Bank


The World Bank has said most of the export restrictions that were announced earlier this year in the wake of the COVID-19 have not been implemented, resulting in global food prices mostly remaining stable.

In the opening Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass during the media call on the Analytical Chapters of the June 2020 Global Economic Prospects Report, he said many countries are already taking steps to facilitate resolution of corporate distress.

“Litigiousness and drawn-out resolutions are important problems.  Some countries have introduced time-bound moratoriums on bankruptcy proceedings during the pandemic to encourage speedier forms of resolution.  Conversely, other initiatives might undermine restructuring and slow the recovery, such as prolonged disruptions to insolvency proceedings.

“Despite the challenges people are facing, some of our biggest concerns have thus far not come to pass.  For now, most of the export restrictions that were announced earlier this year have not been implemented and global food prices have mostly remained stable.

“Also, important advances are being made in digital connectivity in developing economies.  One benefit is the ability of some governments to reach some of the poorest households with support payments.  It is clear that more needs to be done to improve digital infrastructure in developing economies, an important part of our work where we hope to see advances,” he said.

He added that : “Beyond coping with the immediate crisis to limit the harm, policymakers can make a robust recovery more likely by maintaining private sector systems and infrastructure and allowing markets to allocate resources toward productive activities.

The balance sheet stress imposed by the recession may reveal sovereign and corporate weaknesses.  Policymakers can resolve balance sheet related problems by ensuring transparency of financial commitments (I’ve already talked about sovereigns in this regard, but banks, corporates and SOEs need much more transparency); and by offering faster, more efficient dispute resolution mechanisms.”



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