Speakers: Robert Annibale and Shamshad Akhtar Presider: Isobel Coleman
Isobel Coleman hosts Robert Annibale, Global Director of Microfinance, Citigroup, and Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, for a discussion about how to reach the two billion people who do not have access to formal financial services.
This roundtable was generously supported by the Center for Financial Conclusion at Accion, which is leading the Financial Inclusion 2020 Campaign.
Authors: Shantayanan Devarajan and Wolfgang Fengler
Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP has grown five percent a year since 2000 and is expected to grow even faster in the future. Although pessimists are quick to point out that this growth has followed increases in commodities prices, the success of recent political reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of sustaining its boom for years to come.
Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia
The Brazilian government faces a number of challenges and opportunities concerning its economic forecast in the coming years. After peaking at 7.5 percent growth in 2010, Brazil's recent economic slowdown has caused worry that the dream of a new high-growth economy had slipped out of reach.
The fifth summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries met in Durban, South Africa March 26 and 27, 2013, to discuss "political and economic coordination." They released their fifth summit declaration, "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation," which includes plans for a BRICS development bank. In the 2014 Fortaleza Declaration of the Sixth BRICS Summit, more details about the bank are explained.
Joshua Kurlantzick shares an excerpt from his new book, Democracy in Retreat, which revolves around a disturbing thesis: that after a steady increase in the number of democracies in the world for nearly a century, autocratic rule is on the march.
Shannon K. O'Neil says, "[American] perceptions reflect the Mexican reality that dominates headlines: soaring crime rates and gruesome murders in a war against drug traffickers. But this window into Mexico overlooks an economic transformation and deepening ties with the United States that reflect a dramatically different country."
Over the past several years, the most talked-about trend in the global economy has been the so-called rise of the rest, which saw the economies of many developing countries swiftly converging with those of their more developed peers.
With concerns swirling over the prospect of another global economic slowdown, Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, questions the current consensus view, which is still bullish on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and bearish on the West. Sharma, the author of "Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles" and the May/June Foreign Affairs essay "Bearish on Brazil," argues against analyzing emerging markets under catch-all acronyms. He points out, for example, that Brazil's growth is dependent on a shaky premise: high prices for commodities like oil, coffee and iron ore. Meanwhile, the dismal image of Europe overlooks fiscally responsible countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, whose policies, institutions, and private sectors could enable them to become real growth economies. Sharma will discuss which nations will serve as pockets of future economic strength, and what this all means for the global economy, including the big powers of the West.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »