The Global Economic Prospects report noted that despite projected growth, the recovery is likely to be weak unless policymakers act decisively to tame the pandemic and implement reforms that boost investment.
The growth of the global economy will come after a contraction of 4.3% in 2020, as the epidemic caused huge losses in terms of deaths and injuries, and pushed millions of people into extreme poverty, reducing economic activity globally for a long time.
The World Bank report says that policy priorities in the near term are to control the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the rapid and widespread deployment of a vaccine. The report also stressed the importance of supporting the economic recovery, by facilitating the re-investment cycle that aims to achieve sustainable growth that is less dependent on government debt.
East Asia and the Pacific are expected to experience the largest economic growth of 7.4% in 2021, while economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by 3.7% in 2021.
In the Middle East and North Africa, economic activity is expected to grow by 2.1% this year, while the regional economy in Europe and Central Asia will grow by 3.3% this year, in South Asia by 3.3%, and sub-Saharan Africa by 2.7%.
World Bank Group President David Malpass said that "to weather the effects of the pandemic and confront investment headwinds, there must be a major push to improve business environments, increase labor market and product flexibility, and enhance transparency and governance."
It is estimated that the collapse in global economic activity in 2020 was less severe than previously expected, mainly due to low contraction in advanced economies and a more robust recovery in China. On the other hand, the report indicates that the disruption to activity in most emerging markets and developing economies was more severe than expected.