As the U.S. continues to experience historically high inflation rates and increasing risks to its economy, it also faces a number of global geoeconomic challenges. These include the end of the era of globalization, rising financial instability and pressures to increase the production of certain strategically important goods for domestic use or export to friendly neighbors. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other countries are also contending with the economic implications of social, political and technological developments, such as population aging, greater competition from abroad, growing inequality, innovation and its impact on the labor market, and the global transition to cleaner energy sources.
On May 22 at Baker Hall, World Bank Group President David Malpass joined John W. Diamond, Director of the Center for Public Finance at the Baker Institute, to discuss the geoeconomic challenges — and opportunities — facing the United States and the world, and how to navigate them.
A quick scan of the headlines tells you everything that those of us working in international development already know: today’s world is not business as usual. In just a few short years, the global landscape has transformed in a way that very few of us could ever have anticipated.
Brazil is highly exposed to climate change risks. The impacts of global climate change risks and local practices on the Amazon and Cerrado biomes are of particular concern, as they provide vital ecosystem services to Brazil, the South American region, and the world. The Brazil Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) examines the implications of climate change and climate action for Brazil’s development objectives and priorities. It identifies opportunities for Brazil to achieve both its development goals and its climate commitments. It lays out a combination of sectoral and economy-wide policy reforms, as well as targeted investments in near- and medium-term mitigation and adaptation measures to achieve more rapid and inclusive development with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The idea is to maximize synergies between climate and development objectives, while addressing trade-offs among policy objectives and key transition challenges.
As the debt crisis has unfolded in many of the world’s poorest countries, much attention has focused on seeking individual debt restructurings through the G20 Common Framework. This remains a priority, but the implementation remains slow and lacks the predictability needed to provide debtors and creditors with confidence. The Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable and the April 26 World Bank debt conference, Breaking the Impasse in Global Debt Restructuring, discussed effective debt restructurings and debt sustainability. The conference also addressed how to avoid excessive debt build-up; and pressing questions regarding the debt sustainability implications of a decline of net international reserves into negative territory as countries draw on debt-like instruments such as swap lines. Following this week’s G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Japan, we will publish the initial findings from a recent debt reconciliation initiative, which points to many technical challenges in agreeing on the amounts of debt to be treated in a restructuring.
What is missing, however, is the financing needed to achieve these goals. Carbon markets and results-based carbon and climate finance, which pays for emission reductions once they are achieved, have huge potential to help meet this financing challenge. The quickly evolving carbon market ecosystem, however, has many rules, requirements, players, and priorities. The government of Vietnam has requested World Bank Group support in navigating this complexity and identifying opportunities to access carbon finance and market opportunities.
“Vietnam is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, with increasingly destabilized water and food supplies and threatened coastal areas. In the face of these challenges, the government is showing bold leadership and climate ambition.”
Domestic food price inflation remains high around the world. Information from the latest month between December 2022 and March 2023 for which food price inflation data are available shows high inflation in almost all low- and middle-income countries, with inflation levels greater than 5% in 70.6% of low-income countries, 90.9% of lower-middle-income countries, and 87.0% of upper-middle-income countries and many experiencing double-digit inflation. In addition, 84.2% of high-income countries are experiencing high food price inflation. The most-affected countries are in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.
Competition for workers rising as populations age in rich and middle-income countries
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2023—Populations across the globe are aging at an unprecedented pace, making many countries increasingly reliant on migration to realize their long-term growth potential, according to a new report from the World Bank.