The health emergency crisis caused by COVID-19 has affected most countries worldwide, including Spain and the Valencian Community, forcing them into quarantine and virtually shutting down economic activity. After two months of restrictions, now is the time to assess the impact on people, society and the economy in order to repair the damages and face the road to recovery. In this regard, the Valencian Regional Government has requested from the Ivie a report on the COVID-19 crisis that will serve as a basis to design a recovery strategy for the region.
The rebuilding strategy aims not only to obtain a fast recovery of the pre-crisis wellbeing levels, but also to reduce the weaknesses the Valencian Community had in comparison to the country as a whole prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, for example, 12% less GDP per capita than the national average.
The report includes a roadmap that considers three time horizons. In the short term, the main objective is to save lives by flattening the contagion curve, maintain employment and the productive fabric, protect the income level of those most affected by the crisis and the Valencian public administration’s ability to pay. In the medium term, income must be generated and public debt should not reach unsustainable levels. In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to increase firm competitiveness by including knowledge which, in turn, improves productivity. In addition, steps need to be taken to protect the overall health system and the elderly in nursing homes and to adapt the education system to the limitations imposed by the risk of infection.
Finally, in the long run, the report highlights actions that can be taken in the private sphere to boost R&D investment and promote firm growth and professionalization, while taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the “new normal”. In the public sphere, the document proposes actions aimed at modernizing the public administration system, streamlining the regulatory framework, strengthening public investment and eliminating the financial discrimination against the Valencian Community.