ECC Founder Interviewed by Bloomberg New Economy Forum
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
On November 13, 2020, Mr. Bincheng Mao, ECC Founder, was exclusively interviewed by Bloomberg New Economy Forum. The original interview is published here.
Established by philanthropist and 3-term New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2018, New Economy Forum seeks to “realize the potential of a healthy New Economy by enabling global leaders from East and West to forge common ground.” Dr Henry Kissinger and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson chair the 2020 Forum.
Mr. Bincheng Mao, ECC Founder, was also selected from hundreds of candidates to raise questions to forum speakers to discuss at the 2020 New Economy Forum. The 2020 forum speakers include U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Mr. Bill Gates, PM Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, former PM Tony Blair of the UK, etc.
The question raised by ECC Founder: "In the face of a global pandemic and public health challenges, how do we ensure that vulnerable groups, such as lower-income and un/underinsured households, receive equitable access to health care?”
Mr. Mao's questions "will be discussed at length during the 2020 Forum to find a way forward for all" according to Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
(Image from New Economy Forum)
English Interview Transcript (translated from and subject to the original version):
Question (Bloomberg New Economy Forum): What motivated you to raise this question to forum speakers?
Answer (Bincheng Mao, ECC Founder): I decided to raise this question because protecting the rights and interests of vulnerable groups is indispensable to the construction of a just, inclusive and sustainable society. In this pandemic, vulnerable groups, such as low-income groups and ethnic minorities, have been disproportionately impacted. This negative impact has exacerbated the existing inequality in health care as a result of uneven economic development.
Data has proven that disadvantaged groups, such as the lower-income, are more likely to work in the service sector compared to other groups; the tertiary industry happens to to be the most affected industry in the COVID-19 pandemic where the greatest number of jobs are disappearing. When low-income families lose their jobs, they not only lose their only source of income but also the medical protection provided by their employers. In many countries, even the most basic medical insurance is extremely expensive, and it is difficult for low-income people to bear these costs.
When they lose jobs, vulnerable groups are at risk of not being able to afford the most basic protective equipment such as masks, let alone COVID tests or the enormously expensive treatment after infection. In addition, in many societies, the low-income condition may be closely related to color, race, gender, and geographical inequality and discrimination. These vicious circles, economically, have led to a widening of the wealth gap between the rich and the poor and the decline in social mobility over time, resulting in much higher infection and fatality rates of the vulnerable groups than that of others amid COVID-19. In conclusion, the inequality in health care access and the unbalanced economic development behind it are key issues that our society needs to solve through economic policies and social initiatives.
Question: In addition to the challenge you identified, what are some other global challenges that you believe deserve the attention of the international community?
Answer: The climate crisis is another a global challenge that requires our attention. The climate is closely connected to human beings' livelihood and the sustainable development of economies. Existing data has showed that climate change is not a problem to be faced in the future, but a crisis that must be addressed now. Extreme weather events have intensified around the world, from the Australian fire at the beginning of the year, to subsequent droughts and hurricanes and other climate disasters. These are results of increases in carbon emissions caused by human activities. Increasing carbon emissions also cause sea levels to rise, threatening agriculture and food security. These issues urgently require the attention of the international community. I hope that while developing the economy, we can also pay attention to climate and environmental protection. For instance, more job opportunities should be created in the green energy sector to balance economic development and environmental protection.
In addition, I am also deeply concerned about the human rights emergencies caused by geo-conflicts. It is extremely challenging to protect the health and basic rights of large numbers of refugees.
Question: What do you think the industry that you are in can do to solve these issues?
Answer: As the founder of a non-profit, non-governmental organization, first of all, we are constantly working to raise the public's awareness of these social issues and enable the public to realize the various problems and challenges that exist around the world. Second, we will solve problems through some practical projects. For example, during this pandemic, we have donated disease control and prevention equipment to frontline hospitals, especially frontline hospitals that serve vulnerable groups, in conjunction with other non-profit organizations. Meanwhile, we are also reaching out to third parties such as insurance companies and other institutions to help disadvantaged groups in this pandemic by promoting access to health care for disadvantaged groups.
Question: What is the significance of a platform like Bloomberg New Economy Forum in resolving global challenges?
Answer: I think it's absolutely crucial to hold this forum under the current circumstances. Now, there are uncontrollable and significant barriers in the flow of people, capital, and other resources between countries, and the New Economy Forum is a window in the process of globalization. Through this window, leaders from different countries and fields can gather together to discuss and shape the future direction of globalization——try to break down barriers, and build a new blueprint for international cooperation. I think this is extraordinarily meaningful to today's society.
The interview transcript above is translated from the original version published by Bloomberg New Economy Forum on November 15, 2020, with permission from Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
All translation are subject to the original version. The copyright of all images used in this article belongs to Bloomberg New Economy Forum.