Global Development Outlook

World Bank launches new flagship series: Global Development Outlook 

The Office of the President of the World Bank Group and the Office of the Chief Economist are starting a new global flagship series titled Global Development Outlook (GDO). The new annual report will have two major objectives:

  • Provide a forward look at “what is around the corner” in development. The report will  identify emerging issues facing developing countries, including those where data is sparse.
  • Connect the outlook on development to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The GDO will serve as the World Bank Group’s main vehicle to assess how emerging global trends are likely to affect progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

The GDO will be produced by a core team based in the Development Economics Vice-Presidency, in cooperation with various specialist units that will rotate each year on the basis of the edition’s analytical theme.

Inaugural issue to focus on the future of manufacturing

The inaugural issue of the GDO – to be released in late 2017 – will examine the future of manufacturing and its implications for sustainable development.

While some of the biggest development gains in history were made possible by industrialization, recent trends point to a changing role of manufacturing in development. Countries are seen to transition out of industry at earlier levels of development than in the past and the boundaries between manufacturing and other sectors are becoming increasingly blurred and complex.

Looking ahead, considerable uncertainty surrounds the future of manufacturing. Technological changes (in robotics, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and many other fields) are expected to deeply affect the manufacturing landscape. In parallel, changing patterns in globalization are bound to reshape the global geography of manufacturing. 

These trends will impact the ability of countries at various income levels to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The inaugural GDO will assess the role that manufacturing played as a driver of development and jobs in the past and examine how it may continue to do so in the future. It will focus on how policymakers can think about promoting development in the face of great uncertainty about the impact of technology and trends in globalization.

The report is being developed in partnership with the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will also contribute to this report. A broad consultation will take place within the World Bank Group and beyond as part of the development of the report. The team will particularly welcome the opinion of the development community. Please send your comments on the inaugural issue as well as any suggestions for future reports to

Contact the Global Development Outlook team by email.