Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation” supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement No. 075-15-2020-783).
Abstract. While significant, the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on economic globalization and regional integration is temporary. The same objective factors that existed before the pandemic will determine integration trends in the future. The key role belongs to scientific and technical progress, and the effect of the pandemic was rather on the stimulating side here. Research in the field of medicine accelerated, online mode is already all-pervading and digitalization tends to become ubiquitous. The crisis has brought closer the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is expected to open the next stage of globalization, entailing shifts in the structure and dynamics of world production and trade. It can be assumed that new technologies will contribute to the development of the organization of global value chains (GVC), one of the main drivers of economic globalization and regional integration. Probable changes in the way of life and the corresponding shifts in consumption patterns in favor of services will also contribute to modifications in the structure of GVCs. Apparently, we should expect an increase in the processes of glocalization, which can be briefly defined as globalization with local specifics. COVID 19, which has caused disruptions in supply chains, has strengthened the course of self-reliance in the economic policy of some countries. The inconsistency between the method used by governments (protectionism) and the driving forces of the phenomenon that they are trying to resist (scientific and technological progress) leads to losses in productivity and competitiveness. It is necessary to distinguish between re-industrialization, stimulated by artificial methods, from re-industrialization, which has objective reasons and corresponds to the evolution of the world economy. The latter is not equivalent either to the return of previously exported production facilities or to the re-creation of the “pre-globalization” economic structure and cannot be regarded as a manifestation of de-globalization tendencies. The world realized the need to strengthen international cooperation and develop measures aimed at joint preparation and a coordinated response to possible new threats. Outbreaks of protectionism prove to be temporary. The long-term trend towards international trade liberalization will continue.
Keywords: economic globalization, regional economic integration, international trade, COVID 19 pandemic, foreign trade policy, protectionism, re-industrialization, global value chains, Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Trade Organization, mega-regional trade agreements
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