“For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future.” That was the assessment given by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on December 1 following the news of progress being made with coronavirus vaccines.
In December 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador swept to power, having promised to reduce Mexico’s longstanding problem of gang violence, which had climbed to record levels, and to bolster economic growth, which at that time had slowed considerably.
Voters in the United Kingdom handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party a resounding victory via the recent election. Apparently believing that his plan would be the best horse to ride out of the Brexit quagmire in which the nation finds itself, Johnson has a strong mandate to meet successfully the 2020 deadlines: EU exit in January and EU trade deal by year’s end. Can he do it?
Despite the gender-diversity rhetoric in business, the gender makeup of corporate boards, including those of MENA, reveal that the female population is poorly represented at the top. And studies prove that this imbalance works against the bottom line. Companies with female directors tend to fly higher profit-wise than their all-male competitors. Changes need to start at the societal level, with more women succeeding on every rung of the business ladder.
Central banks, guardians of financial systems, consider multiple factors when determining policy; today, as countries suffer the effects of severe weather, central banks feel impelled to include the risks associated with climate change. Groups such as the Network for Greening the Financial System, which unites central banks to address climate-change financial risks and aids the private sector toward achieving a more sustainable future, allow central banks to pool their resources to combat this threat.
In January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into force, aiming to end such conditions as poverty, inequality, repercussions of climate change. Agreeing to these lofty goals was one thing; actualizing them is another. Further investment, to the tune of $2.5 trillion for developing economies alone, is one of the main hang-ups. Can the private sector assist its finance partners in closing the gap?
President Jair Bolsonaro assumed Brazil’s highest political office on January 1, 2019. From mid-2016 to the end of 2018, a team of experts worked diligently to improve Brazil’s integration with the global economy in such areas as relations with international organizations, domestic framework for officially supported export credits and trade policy. Their initiatives provide the new administration with a strong path to prosperity through reduction of lingering barriers to international inclusion.
Balancing the Opportunities and Challenges of the New Era of Globalization with Social Inclusion and Sustainability Goals for All Stakeholders
The New Era of Globalization, propelled by the rapid technological advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and widespread concern for sustainable development goals, would seem to be on a road undergirded by groundbreaking potential. Yet, there are potholes on the way, not the least arising from growing populist movements. What are some of the damaging risks to avoid and positive disruptive opportunities to foster along this uncharted path?
Macrotrends such as shifts in demographics, environmental awareness, urbanization are transforming one of today’s most fundamental asset classes, infrastructure. Required for the operation of any society, infrastructure is providing investors with impressive returns along with opportunities to capture the benefits of these megatrends; infrastructure investment has consequently shown impressive growth in the past decade.
Automation saves time, cuts cost and carries out routine tasks with unmatched efficiency, so who wouldn’t welcome it? Possibly the people whose income currently depends on carrying out those tasks. Digitalization is guaranteed to strip out much routine work in banking, but it will not necessary mean fewer bank jobs. Roles will be reinvented so that technology frees human staff to provide customers with excellent advice and service.