How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

LGBTI 2019

(Levi Saunders, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum

Geo-economic developments are illustrating the power of global partnerships but also the constraints of current systems. As Japan begins its presidency of the G20 for the first time this year, there is an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to a cooperative approach toward economic growth and to update our trade system so that it is more resilient and responsive to new technology.

For Japan, 2018 marked a productive period in terms of strengthening global commerce: the European Union and Japan signed the Economic Partnership Agreement this past summer and the eleven-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership entered into force at the end of last year. Combined, these deals are expected to add a total of 750,000 new jobs and ¥13 trillion annually to the Japanese economy.

Indeed, these projections are in line with the broad benefits we have seen from globalization over the past quarter century. Since 1990, global GDP has doubled in real terms and the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 36 percent to 10 percent, according to the World Bank. A key driver behind this has been trade.

But in October 2018, the International Monetary Fund cut its global economic forecast for 2018-2019—the first downgrade since July 2016—citing strained trade ties, among other factors. Then, in January, the IMF further downgraded its projections, once again pointing to trade tensions as a reason. What this confirms is that there are fragilities in our system, and that trade wars taking place among large economies are more of a problem than an answer.

Achieving strong, sustained growth—both at the national and global levels—can only happen through cooperative, win-win policies. Protectionist measures, while responding to discontent with the current state of the global economic system, ultimately harm not only the broader economy, but the very citizens they purport to benefit. Because modern supply chains span borders, punitive duties that are meant to help domestic companies often end up only increasing the cost of doing business.

Yet, the overall importance of trade does not mean we should follow business as usual. While globalization has brought poverty eradication at a historic level, we have seen inequality within many countries increase. What is needed is to rethink globalization so that there is more equity and more solidarity. A more inclusive system will be more sustainable and resilient, fuelling continued growth that can prepare us to weather the next economic downturn.


At the same time, our global system also has to account for the fact that the global economy is rapidly changing as a result of digitization. Some projections expect digital connectivity to deliver a net increase of $19 trillion in global economic value by 2025—given this trend, we need measures that accelerate societal benefits and minimize risks from digital trade and data flows.

Both Japan and the World Economic Forum are working to help unlock the possibilities of a global innovation economy. It is why Japan will be holding a Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in the days leading up to the G20 summit in the spring. It is also why the World Economic Forum launched a joint initiative with the World Trade Organization and the Electronic World Trade Platform designed to drive public-private dialogue on e-commerce, and why the Forum is leading a Digital Trade Project to support the development of data protocols.

This year will be a chance for the Forum, Japan and the whole international community to continue to work toward strengthening our global system so that it can better adapt to new forces of innovation and so that it is more inclusive. A key ingredient for success will be for leaders to undertake meaningful cooperative action—action that opens opportunity for stakeholders across societies. In this way, we will see a global economy that grows stronger and more resilient as the fruits of cooperation are widely shared.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

Corporate bond debt continues to pile up

First 17 “European Universities” selected: a major step towards building a European Education Area

How to make trade single windows more efficient with blockchain

Help African farmers cope with climate change threats, UN food agency urges

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

Denouncing attacks against Baghdad protesters, UN warns ‘violence risks placing Iraq on dangerous trajectory’

Inflation keeps falling in Eurozone

More, not less, multilateralism is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic

Commission supports Member States in their transition to a climate-neutral economy

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

$683 million appeal to deliver reproductive health services, where they’re most needed

American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers

Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

AI-powered automation will have an ethnic bias

Powering through the pandemic

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

Towards Responsible #AIforAll in India

Sustainable Finance: Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the Taxonomy Regulation

These are the regions where people have most faith in their schools

2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Maria Ressa of the Philippines

From his room with a view, UN chief takes to Instagram with an eye on hope and a brighter future

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Venezuela migrant crisis begs a ‘coherent, predictable and harmonized’ response: UNHCR

EU and Indian flags at EU-India Summit in New Delhi last October (copyright EU 2018, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service)

India and the EU get close to revive talks on proposed Free Trade Agreement

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

What happiness can teach us about how we measure human development

‘Unique opportunity’ to resolve border dispute between Sudan, South Sudan

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

Tusk fights back while charismatic Boris goes against everybody in Brussels pushing the UK to leave the EU now or never

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Sustainable development funding is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

To my Chinese friend

2030 development agenda: Major breakthrough for world of work

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

Armed insurgency in north-east Nigeria ‘has created a humanitarian tragedy’

Will COVID-19 usher in a new culture of outdoor living and dining?

Brain Drain: Follow your dreams, wherever they might take you

What are we actually working for?

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

Blockchain is not a magic bullet for security. Can it be trusted?

Why is the Strait of Hormuz so important?

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Mood changes in Europe in favour of growth and jobs

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

How to change the world at Davos

How do we go about improving mental health in the community and reducing suicide rates in the 15-29 age group?

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

How technology can help India breathe more easily

These countries are all building brand-new cities

How tech companies compare at protecting your digital rights

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

Students & Allies Unite Globally To Launch #Students_Against_COVID

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s