In an interview for FORBES Central America, the businessman and president of Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo presented his analysis and opinion on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on business, politics and society.
On the strategy that the companies should follow to resist the crisis, Dionisio Gutiérrez stated: "It is a matter of identifying scenarios. A significant number of companies in the region will probably not open their doors again, I think we are going to see a lot of bankruptcies. The damage on the economy that is being caused by the pandemic is absolutely devastating. The process in which we have to re-open the economies will cause an increase number of infections and therefore in deaths. We will have these 'ups and downs' of infections and if the governments want to return to quarantines and confinements, yes, the speed of infections will decrease, but the social and economic crisis will arise."
Regarding the role of the private sector, he commented: "The companies (small, medium, large and even the informal economy) are at a crossroads and in the end what will happen is that everyone will try to return to the greatest economic activity that they can, because there is no alternative. It is a matter of survival: we do not have strong institutions like in the United States or Europe, where their development and wealth allow them to provide support and give subsidies to companies in order to avoid unemployment, or so that they do not go bankrupt, but that is simply impossible in Latin America."
Additionally, he referred to the economic opportunities that may arise for Latin America: "The geopolitical situation with China, the United States and Europe, will probably increase the tensions and distancing between those countries, and that opens an opportunity for Latin America. We could fill the empty spaces left by a displaced China regarding their role in world supply chains towards United States and Europe."
Finally, he addressed the perspectives of the region after the pandemic: "If, before the pandemic, Central America had no greater possibilities for development due to our low growth and scale economies; after the pandemic, it is even more urgent to place at the regional public debate, the need for the economic integration of Central America."
See the full interview by clicking here.