The World Economic Forum launched yesterday the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017 in the port city of Dalian, in China. This year’s edition will focus on the challenges related to the development of an “Inclusive Growth in the course of the fourth industrial revolution” and on all those policies, strategies and tools designed to successfully implement it.
The 2017 AMNC gathers government experts, representatives from academia and civil society with the aim of exchanging views and ideas about crosscutting political, social and economic challenges, whose global impact must be timely tackled.
Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, remarked how impressive China’s growth has been in the past few years and pointed out the need for speeding up, while at the same time including as many people as possible in the process.
Premier Li Keqiang, in his welcoming speech, highlighted the importance of inclusiveness in the age of globalisation.
In his words, there cannot be effective globalisation without proper inclusiveness in growth.
A review of world history shows that each of the industrial revolutions has brought about leapfrogging expansion of productivity and huge progress of civilizations in general. This round of industrial revolution, fostered in the era of economic globalization, is changing our world in a way unseen before in terms of speed, scope and depth of transformation, giving a strong boost to economic growth of all countries. However, if not managed properly, this round of change may also lead to lack of inclusiveness in growth. Some people may benefit more than others, traditional industries and jobs may take a hit, and returns on capital and labour may diverge further. Addressing these issues well is of both social and economic importance. Lack of inclusiveness will render part of the workforce and resources idle, and deepen the divide within society and between regions. This would hinder the tapping of market potential, aggravate the social divide, and make growth unsustainable. In contrast, inclusive growth makes societies fairer and development more widely beneficial. Realizing inclusiveness and achieving sustainable development are therefore two sides of the same coin.
The Internet, digital and intelligent technologies have created new supply and demand, greatly expanded development space and brought unprecedented opportunities for equal participation.
We should all leverage this great possibilities, creating equal access for all. Inclusive growth means equal access to education throughout the world, equal access to natural resources, equal economic opportunities in the labour market, and so on.
Education must come first. This means giving kids the opportunities to enlarge their vision and see new worlds, making new experiences since their very early years in school. Life largelearning could be a way to address the issue of inclusive education, no less than to approach inclusive growth.
Promoting inclusive growth, then, is the collective endeavour of pursuing the same, big purpose: keeping our lifestyle sustainable and possible in the near future.