Envisioning 2060: Opportunities and Risks for Emerging Markets


PARIS, 17 May 2022 – Thestellar socio-economic progress achieved by most emerging markets around the world in the past several decades could be at risk unless immediate actions are taken, according to a new book Envisioning 2060: Opportunities and Risks for Emerging Markets. The book was released today at the 15th Global Meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum (EMF) hosted by the Banque de France. 

A new flagship publication of the EMF, the book was authored by 20 international experts taking a long-term perspective of the likely evolution of the economic and social landscape of emerging market economies. The book presents two contrasting scenarios of how the world may look like in 2060.

While there is potential for a more affluent, inclusive, and sustainable world by 2060 with living standards and social attributes associated with advanced economies, three potential risks stand out.   Apart from black swan events like the pandemic, the book outlines the risks as inability of countries to continue to pursue enabling policies and reforms to improve total factor productivity to achieve the desired GDP, and slowdown of economies that were most successful in recent past such as East Asia and Eastern Europe. The third is the possibility of major divergences within the emerging economies themselves over the next four decades. This could result from many East Asian emerging economies moving ahead at a crisp pace which may by then even graduate to advanced economies’ status while much of other regions such as Africa, parts of South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean fail to grow as fast, and even stagnate thus falling further behind.

Under the optimistic scenario, the next 40 years could see the emerging markets continue to build on their astonishing progress over the past 70 years. Consequently, by 2060 as many as 102 nations with a combined population of 6.4 billion could have per capita incomes equal to or higher than that of advanced economies in 2021.

            “However, there are plausible reasons to be concerned that the world may fail to achieve such an optimistic outcome presented in the book unless the challenges and policy issues are managed adroitly and the global community acts with a sense of urgency,” said Harinder Kohli, Chief Executive of EMF and one of the authors and editors of the book. He added that while the international community can help, actions and reforms must be driven mostly at the national levels.

The book presents views of future opportunities and risks facing emerging market economies, and the world at large amid rising uncertainties. It attempts to address how the ongoing pandemic has brought emerging global challenges such as rapid climate change, rising  inequalities; and the increased fragility of the global monetary and financial systems into sharper focus.

However, the book also notes that a more affluent, inclusive, and sustainable world is within reach if the following actions are undertaken at the local, national as well as global levels:

  • Concerted proactive adaptation and mitigation measures to counter  climate change with greater international cooperation
  • Bridging the gap between regions (Transformation of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East)
  • Reducing inequality and inequities within countries
  • Improving national governance and institutions
  • Preventing global monetary and financial crises
  • Mastering rapid technological changes and adopting new work patterns
  • Triggering renewed productivity improvements, and
  • Revamping the multilateral and global governance system

The book also points out that a blind pursuit of profits and material wealth combined with increasing inward-looking nationalism, have weakened moral and ethical values, created suspicions, damaged the planet, and exacerbated polarization. 

“As a possible solution, the contributors call for the creation of a new global culture and restoration of a greater sense of ethics in societies, as well as greater concern for fellow human beings, future generations and well-being of the planet,” said Rajat M. Nag, Distinguished Fellow, EMF and one of the authors and editors of the book. He added that while there are mounting headwinds ahead, and that none of the actions outlined above are easy, with concerted and sustained efforts by all, achieving the optimistic scenario outlined in the book is “plausible though of course not preordained”

About EMF: The Emerging Markets Forum  is a not-for-profit initiative that brings together high-level government and corporate leaders from around the world to engage in dialogue on the key economic, financial and social issues facing emerging market countries. The Forum is committed to bridging the gaps across countries through knowledge sharing, policy debate and private-sector engagement to facilitate their common goal of sustainable growth and development.

For media enquiries and to interview authors, please contact:

Ms. Omana Nair,

Senior Advisor, Outreach & Communications,

Emerging Markets Forum 

Email: omana@emergingmarketsforum.org


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