July 8, 2016
The book "The World in 2050: Striving for a More Just, Prosperous and Harmonious Global Community" has been published by Oxford University Press. The book summarizes the results of research by the Emerging Markets Forum (EMF), in which the world's high-level leaders debate issues facing emerging markets. Based on this forecast, it suggests policies and strategies that political, economic and business leaders should take. The JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) collaborated on the research that is the basis of the book.
The editor is EMF Founding Director and Chief Executive Harinder S. Kohli. Twenty-five people from various countries contributed to the writing of the book.
The book comprises 18 chapters. Chapter 1 looks back at the state of the economy and society during the past half century. Chapter 2 introduces 10 megatrends that may influence the direction of the world economy: (1) demographics, (2) urbanization, (3) international trade, (4) the globalization of finance, (5) the rise of a massive middle class, (6) competition for finite natural resources, (7) climate change, (8) technological progress, (9) transformation of the global economy, and (10) violent non-state actors. Chapter 3 and the subsequent chapters discuss proposed measures and policies to deal with those trends and issues based on the latest research and debate in the international arena.
JICA-RI also cooperated in the Emerging Markets Global Forum 2015 held in Tokyo in November 2015. At this general meeting held in 2015, JICA Vice President Hiroshi Kato led a session on food productivity and security, which is one of the topic in this book, and Professor Akihiko Tanaka at the University of Tokyo (a former JICA president), led a session on urbanization. Also, at an event to mark the publication held in Paris on April 11-12, 2016, Kato spoke in the session "Beyond Growth: Achieving Sustainability.", which is a major pillar of this book.
This book looks back last 60 years, when most people in the world lived in abject poverty and suffered from hunger and disease, and it touches on the striking progress that has been made since. It says economic development is likely to remain favorable in the future. Most of the world would be urbanized, the middle class would expand, better education would be provided, people would enjoy a healthier life, and many people would be freed from absolute poverty. On the other hand, as the population ages throughout the world, overall growth rates would steadily decline, it says.
Based on such future projections, this book says, "The political, economic and business leaderships must remain very vigilant against complacency and continuously enhance resilience to shocks (external as well as domestic)."