This week, the world comes together to talk money.
World leaders, economists, and celebrities alike convene in Davos, Switzerland for the 2018 World Economic Forum.
From Justin Trudeau to Cate Blanchett, and climate change to gender equality, everyone and everything found their place in the conversation atop the Swiss Alps.
But, the theme of this year’s forum is as topical as it is complex: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” Pretty heavy stuff.
The subject highlights the need to unite economic prosperity and social unity. It’s a big ask, but if anyone’s capable, it’s leaders of the world’s largest economies. Oh, and Will.i.am, apparently.
Speakers touch on a range of topics that revolve around this same core message, that the world is in flux, and we have to find a way to mend it.
Protectionism and Globalization
With protectionist policies coming from the US, UK, and the EU, analysts are forecasting the demise of globalization, and the global economy along with it. In particular, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took aim at these policies on the first day of the forum:
“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization. They want to reverse its flow.”
In light of these issues, many at the forum are calling for the “inclusive growth” of domestic and international economies.
This type of economic advancement would create equal opportunities for countries at all stages of development, and every section of society to become participants in economic growth.
While affluent nations turn their economic efforts inward, countries whose economies benefit, and may even rely on international trade, fall to the wayside.
Even the people of well-off nations feel the impact, as small businesses find it harder and harder to navigate increased regulation and fees associated with international business.
Inclusive growth not only benefits other nations, it helps us at home.
Tech Takes Center Stage
Financial technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies have revealed themselves this year, connecting a world divided by cultural difference, wealth gaps, and access to technology.
In fact, tech innovations such as this are looking to make a big splash at WEF 2018. Gaining confidence from the unprecedented rise of Bitcoin, fintech companies are fighting tighter regulations and opponents stuck in an outdated, unfair economic model.
Technologies like blockchain look to mend the very connections these nationalist policies are slashing. They will need to be consulted if we are to save globalization from itself.
But all’s not lost.
During the first days of the forum, it was announced that eleven nations agreed to a Trans-Pacific Trade pact. The deal opens trade routes between the countries, including heavy-hitters like Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
When questioned this week at the WEF, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the agreement the “right deal.” Considering the way NAFTA talks are going, that’s a bit of an understatement.
Unfortunately, the US pulled out of the T-PP early last year, in one of the Trump administration’s first moves. If there’s anything to learn from this, it’s that despite the naysayers, globalization and internationalism will persist.
World leaders know that they depend on each other to thrive. Some just need to admit it.
At Veem, we applaud the efforts of legislators and innovators investing in the global economy, as we continue to do the same.
Veem is a global payments solution that connects small businesses to their international partners. We utilize multi-rail technology, including blockchain, to send quick, secure and cost-effective payments to over 60 countries.
Our mission is to change the legacy financial payments system by building a user-focused financial ecosystem that promotes global business.
Globalization is the future of economic growth at home, and around the world. With Veem, even the smallest business can enter the international marketplace to start sending, and making, money.
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