In 2016, the Emerging Markets Forum (EMF) published a seminal work The World in 2050: Striving for a more Just, Prosperous and Harmonious Global Community (Oxford University Press). The book provided a long-term economic growth forecast through 2050, suggesting policies and strategies that should be undertaken by political, economic and business leaders to achieve the set of goals.
This present volume – Envisioning 2060: Opportunities and risks for emerging markets (Edited by Kohli, Nag and Vilkelyte) takes a similar long-term perspective—the next 40 years (comprising two generations) through 2060—of the likely evolution of the economic and social landscape of emerging market economies. While the primary focus is on emerging markets and their main economic and social opportunities, as well as the primary challenges and policy issues facing them; the volume does so in the context of prospects and likely evolution of the global economy as a whole. The book comprises 21 chapters written by 20 world class authors.
In the midst of the greatest uncertainties, this volume presents the authors’ views of future opportunities and risks facing emerging market economies, indeed the entire world. While in some respects this book is an update of the 2016 book, in many important respects it covers much new ground and departs from the earlier thinking given the major developments in the world during the intervening five years.
Among the various other contemporary topics, the book attempts to address the following:
- How the ongoing pandemic has brought into a sharper focus major, underlying global developments and emerging challenges to the existing international economic order;
- Rapid climate change across the globe;
- Rise in equalities within countries, both developed and developing;
- Increased fragility of the global monetary and financial system;
- Fast changes in the way we work due to the rapid technological developments, a trend that has accelerated since the outbreak of the pandemic;
- The rise of nationalism and right-wing authoritarianism in some parts of the world, while other parts of the world are observing left-wing populism;
- Increased scorn for elites – seen as the winners of an inequitable globalization – that bleed into a mistrust of expertise and even science;
- Declining trust of people in public institutions and established political parties;
- Fragmentation of multilateral institutions, as legacy organizations (the likes of UN) have not evolved fast enough to reflect the new distribution of economic power and led to proliferation of new organizations (e.g. AIIB, NDB, GCF) as a result. This calls for a major reform of the current multilateral system; and
- China’s role, as a key global player, emphasizing the superiority of its development model at a time when liberal democracies are struggling.
This work also attempts to present, that in recent decades, the unfettered pursuit of profits and material wealth combined with increasing loyalties to peoples’ own countries, have weakened, not only, the moral and ethical values of societies, but also, created suspicions about fellow citizens of this world, as well as damaged the planet. As a possible solution the contributors call for creation of a new global culture and restoration of a greater sense of ethics in societies, as well as care for the well-being of the planet.
The book also emphasizes that human ingenuity combined with technological breakthroughs – essentially driven by the enthusiasm and idealism of the youth – makes a bright future eminently achievable, but by no means inevitable.