Global economic outlook for 2018 positive despite geopolitical jitters and climate change: expert

Updated 2018-01-05 11:01:06 Xinhua

The global economy could withstand geopolitical tremors, climate change impacts and pockets of insecurity to record positive growth in 2018, an expert told Xinhua during a recent interview.

Lemma Senbet, the executive director of the Nairobi-based African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), said the resilience of world economy is guaranteed this year despite the onslaught by forces opposed to globalization, climatic shocks as well as political tensions.

"There are anti-globalization forces we have to grapple with that will be an impediment to the growth of world economy unless there are counteracting forces," Senbet told Xinhua in Nairobi.

"But we need to maximize opportunities and minimize challenges by tackling anti-globalization forces to accelerate growth," he added.

The Ethiopian-born scholar noted that the exit of Britain from the European Union and election of United States President Donald Trump have escalated opposition to free movement of people, goods and services that is key to revitalizing growth of world economy.

He warned that geopolitical risks like tensions in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula, terrorism, climate change, poverty, inequality and forced migration bode ill for the health of global economy this year.

Nevertheless, Senbet noted that the gloomy scenario can be reversed if the international community establishes solid measures to promote integration, harness the entrepreneur spirit of migrants, facilitate transfer of technology and skills.

"Globalization presents incredible opportunities and maximizes value on global economy. Technology transfer is a huge opportunity and we can exploit sectors like agriculture, infrastructure and women entrepreneurs to fight inequality," Senbet told Xinhua.

He added that financial innovations, mechanization of agriculture, support for small-and-medium-sized enterprises as well as youth-led start-ups could inject fresh vitality into the global economy this year.

Senbet underscored the critical role of China to help tackle challenges facing the world economy and unleash inclusive prosperity.

"China is an important payer on issues related to global trade and climate change. I am aware that China's policy is pro-globalization. In all the challenges at the global level, China should be constructively engaged and that will make a difference," Senbet said.

He noted that China's involvement will be crucial to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union (AU) agenda 2063 on shared prosperity.

At the same time, Senbet emphasized that light manufacturing, value addition and infrastructure modernization will unleash growth and prosperity in the low income economies.

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