Assistant Governor Marzunisham Omar, Dato’ Steven Wong, Tan Sri Tan Sri, Dato Dato, Ladies and Gentlemen: A very good morning to everyone and welcome to this seminar on the World Bank’s latest World Development Report.
In recent years, the world has suffered a multitude of crises.
- Financial and economic turmoil disrupted the world economy, with a loss of income, jobs, and social stability.
- Massive natural disasters have devastated entire communities from Haiti to Thailand to Japan, leaving behind a trail of fatalities and economic losses.
- And the poor suffer the most—from financial crises and liimitations in access to credit, from droughts and floods, and from climate change risks as well.
How can we become more resilient to crises and shocks, and at the same time manage risk to fully take advantage of emerging opportunities? TheWorld Development Report 2014 (WDR 2014), Risk and Opportunity—Managing Risk for Development, seeks to provide answers to this question.
Pursuing opportunities requires taking risks. Risk-taking is the key to prosperity:
- Flexible labor markets are good for growth, but require accompanying risk management measures to be socially acceptable and fair.
- Opening markets brings up great opportunities, but implies risks for individuals and communities that may end up among the ‘losers.’
Now, many people, especially the poor and vulnerable, are often reluctant to take risks, because they fear the potential negative consequences. Yet, failure to act and take necessary risks can trap people, leave them vulnerable to shocks, and even less able to pursue opportunities that would otherwise improve their well-being.