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The current Covid19 pandemic seems to be favoring a strong emphasis on national decision-making (manifested, inter alia by border closings), mounting rivalry between major nations, including the use of vaccines to strengthen alliances and a weakening of multilateralism. As could be expected, the impact of the pandemic is worst on under-privileged segments of the world’s population and on emerging economies. Two reports authored by Dan Steinbock, Founder of The Difference Group, for the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, explore the globally missed opportunities.

In a conversation with Dan Steinbock, we will explore how the reports were received in China and overseas, what insights could be useful for Europe as it struggles to move through a second wave and what lessons – if any – can be drawn for multilateral cooperation.

Dan Steinbock, economist, is an internationally recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies and large emerging economies. He is founder of the global consultancy Difference Group ( In addition to advisory activities, he has served in the India China and America Institute (US), the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore). As a Senior Fulbright scholar, he has been affiliated with Stern School of Business/New York University, Columbia Graduate School of Business and has cooperated with Harvard Business School. Previously, he has consulted for the OECD, the European Commission, the Nordic Council and European government agencies.
In 2020, Dan Steinbock has authored the following two reports for the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies: The Tragedy of Missed Opportunities. (May 2020); The Tragedy of More Missed Opportunities. Covid-19 Human Costs and Economic Damage in Emerging and Developing Economies (August 2020) For the links & the interview, see

Photo: Prachatai