Economic and social transformation: an interregional perspective
What can policymakers learn from previous key economic, political and social transformations about how to push forward reforms to support a new social contract? Drawing on the experiences of former Soviet economies, the Arab Spring and ongoing constitutional reforms in Latin America, the panel discussed how the pandemic can be an opportunity for countries to restructure their economies.
- Reasons for change: muasher noted that the root causes of major societal changes are the lack of good governance and economic opportunity. Cardenas highlighted the sharp reversal of recent gains in poverty and inequality. by Shafik pointed out that current social contracts do not provide security or equal opportunity and that massive talent is wasted around the world.
- Successful transformations: Georgiava observed that change/transformation brings benefits and opportunities, but must be accompanied by policies that support those who are negatively affected. Shafik noted three elements of successful transformation: (i) political change (as opposed to political rebranding), (ii) institutional reform towards greater efficiency, and (iii) new ideas. For Berglöfeconomic and social transformation can only be accompanied by political transformation, whereas muasher highlighted the need for a new social contract. Cardenas observed the need to prioritize between different objectives, focusing on social cohesion objectives that go hand in hand with an increase in institutional capacity.
- Role of the fund: Cardenas called on the Fund to inform about the economic trade-offs of different options for change. muasher insisted on the need to talk more to civil society. Shafik added that the Fund must show countries the economic costs of unequal societies. Berglöf saw a role for the Fund in supporting conflict-affected, vulnerable, island and low-income economies.
“Transformations are desirable when they lead to good policies, but they are complex and can be painful.” Kristalina Georgieva
“We absolutely have an obligation to look at what policies can do to move us towards a digital world that is more inclusive, greener, resilient and with as few divergences as possible” Kristalina Georgieva
Contributor: Rodolfo Dall’Orto
What interregional perspectives can be drawn from previous economic, political and social transformations, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the aftermath of the Arab crisis Uprisings, and the recent protests in Latin America? What can policy makers learn from these events about how to advance reforms to support a new social contract?
After IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s keynote address, join IMF Jihad Azour, Alejandro Werner, and a panel of leading experts from the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe for a discussion on the how the pandemic can serve as an opportunity for countries to redesign their economies, make them smarter, fairer, greener and more conducive to job creation.
Kristalina Georgiava Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Jihad Azour, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF (Moderator)
- Erik BerglöfChief Economist at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Erik Berglöf is the Chief Economist of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining the AIIB in September 2020, he was Director of the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics and Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2006 to 2015, where he participated to the creation and co-led the Vienna Initiative, a European crisis response team recognized for having mitigated the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis. He is an expert in transition economics and institutional transformation through the development of the private sector. He holds a PhD in Financial Economics and a Masters in Business and Economics, both from the Stockholm School of Economics. Mr. Berglöf comes from Sweden.
- Mauricio CardenasVisiting Senior Researcher and Visiting Professor at Columbia University SIPA
Mauricio Cardenas is a Visiting Senior Scholar and Visiting Professor at Columbia University SIPA. Mr. Cárdenas served as Colombia’s finance minister from 2012 to 2018 and served as minister in four other portfolios: economic development, transport, planning, mines and energy. He was twice executive director of Fedesarrollo and was director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution and president of LACEA. Mr. Cárdenas holds a doctorate. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
- Marwan MuasherVice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Marwan Muasher is vice president of studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees research on the Middle East. He is a Jordanian diplomat and politician who served as Jordan’s Foreign Minister from 2002 to 2004 and its Deputy Prime Minister in 2004 and 2005. He was Jordan’s first Ambassador to Israel and former Ambassador to the United States. United.
- Minouch Shafikdirector of the London School of Economics and Political Science
Minouch Shafik is director of the London School of Economics. Previously, she held senior positions at the World Bank, the Department for International Development and the IMF before becoming Deputy Governor of the Bank of England in 2014. She was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire at Queen’s New Year’s list in 2015.
Alexander Werner, Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF