Global economic growth 'facing challenges'
Manama, April 15, 2014
The global economy is taking a turn for the better, but its slow recovery must be taken into account, particularly in advanced economies, said Finance Minister and Minister in charge of Oil and Gas Affairs Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
He said this in a statement to the Development Committee and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting held in Washington on the sidelines of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"This will likely pose numerous challenges to growth in developing countries, especially for smaller and more vulnerable emerging economies," he said.
"Without solid plans, the WBG cannot risk achieving the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity," he added.
The minister said that in an increasingly interconnected global economy, developing countries need to focus on enhancing their systems to respond to external financial and monetary risks and internal macroeconomic vulnerabilities and ensure prudential management of the financial system.
Emphasising the importance of human capital development as a key input to ensure strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth, Shaikh Ahmed said with increasing global youth unemployment rates concentrated in developing countries, strong action needed to be taken to ensure that every citizen had an opportunity to take part in the labour market.
A unified World Bank Group approach to support the countries' problems will be vitally essential, he added.
"However, selectivity and taking into account country specificity, especially through increased engagement on the ground, will play a substantial part in the success of these efforts."
In its communique, the Development Committee encouraged the WBG and the IMF to work jointly and with all member countries in pursuing sound and responsive economic policies to address underlying macroeconomic vulnerabilities and strengthen prudential management of the financial system.
The IMF communique signalled a pick up in advanced economies last year, notably in the US and the UK, whereas growth in the euro area as a whole has turned positive but remains fragile.
Growth in emerging market economies has moderated, but continues to account for the bulk of global growth, and is expected to strengthen gradually, it said.
Growth in low-income countries has generally remained resilient. While the balance of risks has improved, downside risks remain to the global outlook, including renewed market volatility, very low inflation in some advanced economies, high levels of public debt, and geopolitical tensions, it added.-TradeArabia News Service