CANBERRA, AAP – New research predicts a smooth rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine internationally would boost the Australian economy by $17 billion and generate nearly 40,000 jobs.
However, the modelling by KPMG Economics also found that continued international travel restrictions until the end of 2021 would depress global services trade, cutting Australian growth by $4 billion and resulting in 13,100 fewer jobs.
“From an Australian perspective, our modelling shows the relative importance of service exports to the economy, especially the benefit associated with foreign students and inbound tourism,” KPMG Australia chief economist Brendan Rynne said.
“A global delay in the rollout of vaccinations and the subsequent opening up of international borders would have a disproportionately larger negative effect on Australia.”
An accelerated global vaccination program in both coverage and speed would enable all countries to fully open their international borders to travellers from the beginning of 2022.
Under this scenario, KPMG expects world growth would be boosted by 2.8 per cent.
However, failure to deliver a comprehensive and timely vaccine program to low and lower to middle-income countries would prevent a widespread opening of the global economy before 2022.
This would result in a 1.2 per cent hit to world growth.
“The Australian government has done the right thing in terms of facilitating a strong and equitable international roll-out by joining the COVAX initiative and by giving full support to Papua New Guinea,” Dr Rynne said.
Australia is a contributor to the COVAX facility, a global vaccine sharing initiative.