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Beyond Shifting Wealth

Perspectives on Development Risks and Opportunities from the Global South

image of Beyond Shifting Wealth

Emerging and developing countries have grown faster than advanced countries since the 2000s. This shifting weight of global economic activity from 'the West' to 'East and South' is referred to as 'shifting wealth'. But in recent years, a number of factors, such as lower commodity prices, seem  to have brought this movement to a pause. Is the period of rapid growth in the emerging world over? This anthology takes stock of the situation and goes beyond the 'shifting wealth' narrative. It offers a forward-looking perspective on global risks and development opportunities over the next 15 years. It collects the perspectives of thought leaders from developing and emerging economies, offering their views and solutions on the most pressing global development challenges.

The first chapter provides the OECD Development Centre's analysis of major development trends. These trends include: slowing growth in China, the end of the commodity super cycle, increasing difficulty accessing global financial markets, demographic transitions, faltering job creation, rapid urbanisation, the negative effects of climate change and conflict and security. These challenges also provide development opportunities. Twelve thought leaders and development practitioners from the global South explore these opportunities in four thematic chapters. They deal with issues such as: structural transformation in a new macro environment; inclusive societies; energy and the environment; and new forms of development co-operation.

The anthology provides a starting point for dialogue and exchange on these risks and challenges as well as potential solutions to them.

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Structural transformation in a changing development context

OECD Development Centre

Chapter 2 deals with the topic of structural transformation in a new macro environment. The previous 15 years were favourable toward developing and emerging economies, partly because of strong growth in China and a commodity price boom. It is uncertain whether these conditions will prevail over the next 15 years and development strategies based on agriculture and extractive industries may no longer be sustainable. Alan Hirsch writes about the growth takeoff in Africa during the 1990s and 2000s and that although there are many obstacles to African development, there are reasons to be hopeful. Donald Mmari draws on the experience of Tanzania to offer policy advice on diversification for sub-Saharan Africa. Neuma Grobbelaar outlines five “game changers” that have the potential to accelerate African development if harnessed correctly. Vugar Bayramov and Ahmad Alili put forward a vision for a prosperous Azerbaijan not dependent on oil and gas reserves.

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