'We don't expect a global recession' in 2023: IMF chief Georgieva

FRANCE 24 spoke to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Gloomy economic forecasts have cast a long shadow over this year's event in the Swiss Alps. But Georgieva said that although the IMF projects 2023 to be "a difficult year" and for growth to fall further, "we don't expect a global recession". She cited resilient labour markets and consumer spending, the post-Covid reopening of China and signs of inflation trending downwards.

The theme of this year's World Economic Forum is "cooperation in a fragmented world". Asked how the world got to its current fragmented state, Georgieva noted that "we were too complacent around globalisation and not admitting honestly that there were winners but there were also losers. Not enough was done for those who were losers, so public support for a global integrated economy weakened".

She continued: "Covid and the war in Ukraine taught us an important lesson. Security of supplies matters. Some diversification of supplies, steps to bring the chain of supplies closer, they are a necessity. But we should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Trade makes us all better off."

Finally, the IMF defended Davos from criticism that is simply a gathering for out-of-touch elites, saying "a lot of work gets done" at the event and that in-person meetings have the edge over virtual calls. "It's very difficult, if you have a very sensitive issue, to solve it over Zoom."

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