Constantine Michalopoulos, Vikram Nehru, Paul P. Streeten, Bahram Nowzad, Hyung-Ki Kim, and Enzo Grilli
This paper describes the World Bank’s mission in a changing world. Conditionality of the Bank is different in several ways as it operates over a longer timeframe and relates to the more comfortable issues of economic growth rather than financial stabilization. The longer timeframes of the Bank’s programs require reaching agreement with borrowing countries on the desirability of maintaining the course that’s being advocated for an extended period. Many developing countries are unduly sensitive about the possibility that they may have to exercise their sovereignty more forcefully in the future.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper discusses the role of fiscal policy and demographics. By the end of this century, about two-thirds of all countries are expected to have declining populations. This will have profound implications for economics, financial markets, social stability, and geopolitics. Fiscal policy responses and technological innovation are especially important parts of the solution. Without action, public pension and health systems will not be sustainable over the long term. The increase in life expectancy and economic welfare that came with the industrial revolution brought with it the seeds of demographic change. This is a demographic double whammy that will have major implications for economic growth, financial stability, and the public purse. With declining fertility rates, populations in some advanced economies did not just grow more slowly; they stagnated or began to shrink. IMF analysis suggests that, if everyone lived three years longer than expected, pension related costs could increase by 50 percent in both advanced and emerging economies. This would heavily affect private and public sector balance sheets and could also undermine financial stability.
Aidar Abdychev, Cristian Alonso, Mr. Emre Alper, Mr. Dominique Desruelle, Siddharth Kothari, Yun Liu, Mathilde Perinet, Sidra Rehman, Mr. Axel Schimmelpfennig, and Preya Sharma
Far-reaching changes in technology, climate, and global economic integration are transforming the world of work in ways that we do not yet fully understand. Will the swift technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution raise the standards of living for everyone? Or will robots massively displace workers leading to a jobless future where only a few benefit from the fruits of innovation? Will mitigation efforts be able to cushion the adverse effects of climate change, including food shortages and mass migration, which would place extra pressure on urban labor markets? Will countries continue to integrate commercially and financially, fostering growth and employment? Or will trade wars become a norm in a world increasingly fragmented and inward-looking?
In sub-Saharan Africa, these uncertainties meet a dramatic increase in population and a rapid expansion in the labor force, which is becoming increasingly urban.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper discusses that from shifting demographics to climate change, Southeast Asia confronts a host of challenges. Summoning them will require both resilience and flexibility. Advances in artificial intelligence, including robotics, together with innovations such as 3-D printing and new composite materials, will transform manufacturing processes, making them less labor-intensive while creating opportunities for new products. This will enable new ways of making things and change the drivers of competitiveness. There will be indirect effects as well. For example, aircraft manufacturers, taking advantage of new composite materials such as carbon fibers, have developed a class of superlong-haul aircraft that could bring more tourists to Southeast Asia as relatively cheap point-to-point travel options emerge. The region should still enjoy synergies from globalization and other modes of economic integration, but the form and shape of such integration could change. For Southeast Asia, the next couple of decades could prove exhilarating in terms of the opportunities presented by technology and global growth, but also tumultuous because of the continuing risks, such as those posed by an unreformed and unstable international financial architecture. There clearly is much hard work to be done. Policymakers still have not gotten everything right, but they are heading in the right direction.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note examines the implications of fintech for the regulation and supervision of the Singaporean financial services sector. It provides an overview of the financial system with a focus on fintech developments. The note looks at not only fintech developments but also the institutional setup as well as Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) approach to fintech. The MAS has so far managed to strike the right balance between innovation and safety and soundness. MAS has responded quickly to the challenges of fintech. The impact of fintech on the financial services sector has largely been internalized by financial institutions (FI). FIs are swiftly digitizing and modernizing their systems, products and business models. Because of their market knowledge and higher investment capacities, incumbent FIs are getting better at providing services and products by adopting new technologies or improving existing ones. The note also recommends that it is imperative to develop a cyber network map that considers both financial linkages and Information and Communications Technology connections and use it for cyber risk surveillance.