Commentary: Asia and the New Global Economy

Centuries of Western dominance are giving way to new centers of growth and influence, China and India are now growth titans as well. (Reuters Photo/Petar Kujundzic)

By : Justin B. Smith | on 12:21 PM July 27, 2018
Category : Opinion, Commentary

[Updated at 13:54 p.m. on Wednesday, Sep 5, 2018. The New Economy Forum will now be held in Singapore on Nov. 6-7]

The global economy stands at a historic turning point. Centuries of Western dominance are giving way to new centers of growth and influence. The world's most populous countries, China and India, are now growth titans, as well.

These new growth markets are drivers of many of the biggest trends in technology, trade and finance. The three largest IPOs in the world were by Chinese companies – Alibaba, Agricultural Bank of China, ICBC Bank. Led by Asia's giants, emerging economies last year grew at an estimated 4.7 percent, more than double the 2.3 percent growth rate of advanced economies.

By 2050, according to PwC, China will boast a $58 trillion economy, India a $44 trillion economy and the United States a $34 trillion economy. The 10 member states of Asean, with the third largest labor force in the world, is projected to be the fourth largest economy.

The changing economic order is accompanied by a range of challenges. Widening wealth gaps and lagging wages feed doubts about the role of globalization. Climate change threatens the well-being of millions. New technologies offer seemingly limitless possibilities, but inspire fears that jobs will be replaced and lives displaced.

Western institutions and political leaders haven’t kept up with the rising influence of emerging economies and the changing nature of global business and social order. The conversation about global trade and investment has long been driven by developed powers; but the key players are increasingly rising powers. We must become more inclusive. Effective solutions will only emerge from a discussion that gives voice to the New Economy powers.

A New Conversation for a New Economic Order 

In many of my interactions with senior decision makers, the need for a new, global conversation has become palpable. Business and government leaders must instigate an open and frank discussion about these profound shifts in the global economy and the risks and opportunities created by a world in transition. We need an institution designed for a new era – a new convening platform to bring world and business leaders together to tackle the biggest global challenges.

Bloomberg plans to offer that platform when we host the inaugural New Economy Forum in Singapore. The Forum will bring together leaders across emerging and established economies from around the world. An institution designed for a new era, the Forum will create a neutral platform for a robust global dialogue.

Pragmatic, Solution-Oriented Approach

As governments all over the world struggle to find solutions to great problems, leaders from across the private and public sectors will come together and come up with actionable solutions on how to manage global institutions, reduce inequality, fight climate change and navigate the constant flow of challenges that come from an ever-more-complex, interlinked world.

Today's business leaders can play game-changing roles in addressing the world's challenges, testament to the role the private sector plays in green finance and sustainable development.

This is also the reason why the New Economy Forum has business leaders from 11 of the world's biggest companies as Founding Partners, including 3M's Inge G. Thulin, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Dangote Group's Aliko Dangote, ExxonMobil’s Darren W. Woods, FedEx's Frederick W. Smith, HSBC's John M. Flint, Hyundai Motor Company's Euisun Chung, Mastercard's Ajay Banga, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Public Investment Fund's H.E. Yasir Al-Rumayyan and SoftBank Group's Masayoshi Son.

These leaders understand the importance of economic linkages among countries. Asia, Africa and South America have many shared interests and challenges, and understand the role of private-public sector partnerships in affecting change. In view of this, we’ve assembled an expert Advisory Board for the Forum, including Dr. Henry Kissinger as honorary chair, former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and CCIEE chairman Zeng Peiyan as co-chairs, and leaders like Condoleezza Rice, Bill Gates, Janet Yellen, Zhou Xiaochuan, Ban Ki-moon, Gary Cohn, Raghuram Rajan and Kevin Rudd.

Bloomberg is a data company – our data and technology power global financial markets. With the New Economy Forum, we will offer a fact-based, data-driven approach. We want to ground our conversation in reality, and frame the most important discussions needed, to drive real conversations that catalyze real change.

As the role of new economic powers in shaping global affairs grows, so does their potential to solve some of the world's most pressing global issues. Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America have an important role to play in addressing climate change, managing the impact of technology and AI on employment, as well as advancing global trade and managing cybersecurity risks. These mega challenges require understanding, collaboration and trust between policymakers and business leaders. Now is the time for these emerging powers to be given a greater voice.

Justin B. Smith is the chief executive of Bloomberg Media Group.

Bloomberg will host the inaugural New Economy Forum in Singapore on Nov. 6-7, bringing together global leaders in business, government and academia to find actionable solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges.

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