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World Bank Morning Seminar #92 “Global Economic Prospects (GEP) January 2021 Edition”

February 19, 2021

Tokyo, Japan

  • The global economy is expected to expand 4% in 2021, assuming an initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year. A recovery, however, will likely be subdued, unless policy makers move decisively to tame the pandemic and implement investment-enhancing reforms, the World Bank says in its January 2021 Global Economic Prospects.

    Although the global economy is growing again after a 4.3% contraction in 2020, the pandemic has caused a heavy toll of deaths and illness, plunged millions into poverty, and may depress economic activity and incomes for a prolonged period. Top near-term policy priorities are controlling the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring rapid and widespread vaccine deployment. To support economic recovery, authorities also need to facilitate a re-investment cycle aimed at sustainable growth that is less dependent on government debt.

    At this seminar, Ayhan Kose, Acting Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) and Director, Prospect Group and Naotaka Sugawara, Senior Economist, Prospects Group, World Bank, presented the report’s main points.


    8am-9:30am, Friday February 19, 2021 (Japan Standard Time)


    Opening Remarks

    Masato Miyazaki 

    Special Representative, Japan, World Bank

    Keynote Speech 

    Ayhan Kose 

    Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) and Director, Prospects Group, World Bank

    Naotaka Sugawara

    Senior Economist, Prospects Group, World Bank


    Masaaki Kaizuka

    Executive Director, Bank of Japan


    Koichi Omori 

    Senior External Affairs Officer, World Bank Tokyo Office

    Keynote Speaker

    Ayhan Kose
    Acting Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) and Director, Prospects Group, World Bank

    Ayhan Kose is Acting Vice President of Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Practice Group at the World Bank and Director of EFI Prospects Group. He manages operational, policy and advisory engagements in the Bank's Global Practices of Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment; Governance; and Poverty and Equity. He also leads the Bank’s policy and analytical work on global macroeconomic outlook, financial flows, and commodity markets. Under his management, the Prospects Group produces the Bank’s corporate flagship report, Global Economic Prospects, in addition to other policy and analytical publications.

    Prior to joining the World Bank in 2014, Mr. Kose was Assistant to the Director of the Research Department and Deputy Chief of the Multilateral Surveillance Division in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He previously served in a wide range of roles supporting policy, operational, and analytical functions of the IMF. His policy and operational work focused on macroeconomic, financial, and development challenges confronted by emerging and developing economies. 

    Mr. Kose has written extensively on international macroeconomics and finance. Many of his articles have been published in leading academic journals. His policy and analytical work has been featured in prominent media outlets. His latest book, Global Waves of Debt (co-authored, 2020), analyzes the potential consequences of the rapid debt accumulation in emerging and developing economies. His previous book, A Decade After the Global Recession (co-edited, 2019) examines how emerging and developing economies became more vulnerable to economic shocks since the 2009 global recession.

    Mr. Kose is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a Dean’s Fellow at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and a Research Associate at the Center for Applied Macroeconomics. He taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and INSEAD, and was formerly Assistant Professor at Brandeis International Business School. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the Tippie College of Business of the University of Iowa and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Bilkent University. A native of Turkey, Mr. Kose was born and raised in Istanbul.

    Presentation material: Global Economic Prospects February 2021 (PDF)


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    World Bank Group Morning Seminar


  • DATE/TIME: 8am-9:30am, Friday February 19, 2021 (JST)
  • LANGUAGE: English and Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • CONTACT: Koichi Omori, World Bank Tokyo TEL: 03-3597-6650