Organized jointly by the World Bank, the IMF and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF, the Global Parliamentary Conference (GPC) offers Parliamentarians a platform to engage with World Bank group and IMF Senior Officials, and explore ways they can tackle development issues in their respective Parliaments.
The conference comes at a critical juncture for the international community facing rising criticisms about the relevance of multilateralism and globalization.
“It’s a challenging time,” said President Kim. “And your presence here speaks volumes about the level of commitment parliamentarians have shown to helping people achieve their aspirations.”
Mrs. Lagarde and Dr. Kim invited MPs to take a prominent role in leading that movement as MPs are best positioned to build political will, financial support and advocate for development outcomes in their respective constituencies.
The conference also highlighted the critical role of the private sector in meeting the aspirations of citizens around the world.
“Two-thirds of existing jobs will be wiped out by automation if investment isn’t increased,” warned Dr. Kim. “Investment must come from the private sector. We need to create opportunities for investors to invest, whether they are from developed or developing countries.”
Dr. Kim also emphasized the importance of investing in human capital to foster economic growth.
“The premium on human capital will go up every year as the economy becomes digitalized,” he explained. “The jobs of the future will be in areas where human empathy is required, like professionalizing childcare for instance.”
Efforts in building human capital will fall short if they are not underpinned by a stronger focus on early childhood development, warned Dr. Kim. “I cannot stress this enough to MPs: if we do not catch childhood stunting in the first thousand days, children will not be able to learn, and the earnings of future generations will be lower overtime. We need a revolution in education and a bigger focus on early education and childhood development. Unless you deal with that issue, it is hard to conceive how future generations will compete in a world where two-thirds of low skills jobs will disappear. We need to ask ourselves: Are there ways to improve the education system through the use of technology?”
The conference also featured a special address by H.E. Kemi Adeosun Minister of Finance, Nigeria who shared success stories from her country.