WEF: Pat for developing world; rich nations asked not to relax
Davos: Role of developing nations, including India, in spurring growth dominated the WEF meet today, even as IMF chief Christine Lagarde and others cautioned rich countries against complacency coming in the way of fragile global recovery.
Rising unemployment levels and poverty eradication also emerged as key talking points at the World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering in this snow-clad town.
World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kim said emerging nations are playing a major role in maintaining overall growth.
"Lion's share of global growth has come from emerging nations... Rich countries should thank the developing nations for maintaining the growth that we have seen in the last five years," he said.
Emerging economies, particularly China and India, have seen 6-10 per cent growth rates even as the developed world, mainly Eurozone, continued to reel under economic duress.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde asked countries not to relax but maintain the growth momentum.
"I will pursue with 'do not relax' principle. The forecast is for a very fragile recovery in 2013 and that is why I will emphasise on do not relax," Lagarde said.
Secretary General of Paris-based OECD, a grouping of mostly rich nations, Angel Gurria said that it is wrong to feel relieved just because the crisis has been overcome.
"What are we relieved about? Are we relieved about exhausting our monetary measures and all other measures. In fact, we should be worried about the current scenario when we have exhausted all our tools. There are issues concerning education, jobs, women, infrastructure building etc, which need to be tackled," he quipped.
Amid talks about the need for far reaching structural reforms in debt-laden countries, the message was clear that every country has its own challenges.
Lagarde emphasised that each and every country is different from the other.
Yi Gang, Deputy Governor of People's Bank of China, said the international environment, especially quantitative easing, will have significant impact globally.
Gang also said globalisation is there in the whole world and developing economies are getting more and more connected. Total decoupling of emerging economies from the world economy is not possible, he added.
There were also discussions about the rise of Chinese currency renminbi in the global scheme of things.
Participating in a session here, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the Chinese currency is unlikely to supplant US dollar as the world's reserve currency in near term.
Touching upon the issues of poverty and unemployment, the World Bank chief said efforts should be made to end poverty, besides making sure that prosperity is shared with women as well as the future generations.
Talks also veered towards Arab uprisings, with leaders from the region asserting that progress on women's rights and fight against corruption cannot happen overnight.
"It's clear that there are voices that want to limit the freedom of women, but the name of the game is that people can air their thoughts now," Prime Minister of Egypt Hesham Mohamed Qandil said.
Meanwhile, on the flip side, the partying mood at the WEF seemed to be weaning as the Bollywood night as well as the sought-after Google party not happening this time around.