One of Russia's main domestic challenges in the near future is fragmentation. Although president Vladimir Putin's approval rating is still very high – 68% in September according to the independent Levada Centre – there are a few elements suggesting that the "invisible pact of stability" that has bonded the ruling power and the people over the last twenty years is now slightly damaged. Polls show dissimilar data.
The Russian economy managed to get out of the downward cycle after 2014 caused primarily by sanctions and falling oil prices, which considerably affected the Russian economy still suffering from Dutch disease with its over-dependence on exports of natural resources.
India’s economic slowdown is visible. With a lag of two quarters, so are attempts to reverse it through policy fixes. And the markets that had fallen in the prelude to policy actions or in reaction to anti-entrepreneur economic stances have more than made up in an equal and opposite direction, almost as if Newton’s third law is overseeing India’s capital markets.
On its 70th anniversary on October 1st 2019, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will proudly celebrate the material successes of a lifetime and show them off to the rest of the world. It has many, well beyond the vagaries of economic cycles and notwithstanding the current shift to a more moderate pace of economic growth. The first and foremost is undoubtedly its severe challenge to the liberal perspective regarding the role of economic and political freedom for economic growth.
As the US-China trade war rages, and fears of a new conflict in the Gulf loom, world leaders meet in Osaka (June 28-29) at the G20 Summit. Beyond today's crises, the Summit will be a litmus test for the G20 countries’ ability to tackle key global challenges: from financial stability to climate change, from trade protectionism to aging populations and the future of work in the digital age. Will the sense of urgency prevail over growing divisions?
As the world’s premier forum on international economic governance, the G20 plays an important role in global rule-making. Born out of crisis, the G20 has morphed into the inner sanctum of world governance. Given that Africa has been a rule-taker since its decolonisation, its limited participation in this grouping (only South Africa is a full member) runs the risk of perpetuating this situation.
Major technological transformations such as artificial intelligence, big data, FinTech, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are putting the global economy on a new track. These innovations will bring immense economic opportunities as well as dramatic changes in industries, employment and required skills that will create major challenges for individuals, businesses and governments.
The implications of aging societies have been rising on advanced economy agendas for a long time. The challenges posed by a shrinking labor force, potential declines in productivity and a growing number of retirees which, in turn, threaten the sustainability of pension systems and public finance in general are cases in point. In the recent past, several middle- and low-income countries have also been increasingly exposed to the aging of their populations.
The G20 has the potential and responsibility to lead the world in developing more sustainable economic systems and life styles. Today’s patterns of consumption and waste generation are unsustainable. They contribute to social inequalities and the environmental degradation that is polluting our oceans, heating up the planet, threatening species survival, and contributing to the spread of disease.