ISMR November 2021 - Page 28

The container port at Gdańsk ( Shutterstock . com ).
Over the medium term , key challenges are the need to tighten the labour supply , made more acute by the aging populace , and to meet decarbonisation commitments in 2021 and to grow by 4.7 % in 2022 . The resurgence of new infections since the beginning of the year is expected to continue to weigh on economic activity .
“ Nonetheless , widespread vaccination and easing of containment measures by the second half of the year should support a strong rebound in consumption and , to a lesser extent , investment . Inflation is set to ease due to continued , though diminishing , spare capacity . The outlook , however , remains uncertain amid epidemiological risks and logistical hurdles for vaccination deployment ,” it cautioned .
It also recommended that the country ’ s prospects for a sustainable recovery would be enhanced by a focus on decarbonisation , productivityfriendly investments and labour market reforms . Public investment , it said , should concentrate on improving the country ’ s infrastructure , especially in transport , energy and digital technologies , to help smaller firms better access overseas markets .
Within energy , it said , investment should be targeted towards renewable sources , which would support the necessary move towards a greener economy . Many adults , it noted , especially older ones , have weak basic skills and lifelong training opportunities are limited for the unemployed and the low-skilled .
“ Despite a still robust labour market , and to facilitate job transition , it will be important to strengthen the training and skills of these groups , help displaced workers with job placement measures and facilitate the reallocation of resources towards growing industries ,” the OECD explained .
“ The COVID-19 crisis has exposed long-standing issues in the health care sector , including the vulnerability of the population to respiratory illnesses linked to high air pollution . The main medium-term challenges are linked to the shortages of skilled workers and prevalence of micro and smaller firms with low productivity and weak connections to local , national and international markets . Addressing such challenges is key for digital and green transitions and ensuring their inclusiveness ,” it added . n

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28 | sheetmetalplus . com | ISMR November 2021