WASHINGTON, DC – As the world enters yet another year in the shadow of continued financial and economic crisis, a broader view of the contours of the future global economy is required.
The longer-term trends are clear. Dynamic emerging markets from Asia to Latin America are rising in prominence. The United States and Japan remain important drivers of the global economy but face major debt and deficit challenges. Europe is going through a difficult but historic process of re-engineering and integration. The Middle East is transforming before our eyes. Sub-Saharan Africa is breaking through to sustained development – creating a new frontier of growth after decades of stagnation.
These changes are shaping our future in a positive way. Yet there are still considerable roadblocks to overcome. The global economic recovery remains too weak. With more than 200 million unemployed around the world, prospects for job creation are still too dim. And the gap between rich and poor, exacerbated by the crisis, is still too wide.
There is a tough road ahead if we are to turn optimism into reality. I see three key milestones.