WORLD PESSIMISM MISPLACED, SAYS ECONOMIST
‘People should discover how to make things better’
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ALOT of pessimism in the world with regards to globalisation, equality and robots displacing jobs and opportunities right are misplaced, says World Bank chief economist Paul Romer.
“We should not let it make us blind to opportunities. We should create places that let people connect and learn, and then discover how to make things even better,” he said at the Global Transformation Forum, here, yesterday.
Whether in pursuit of factory or service sector jobs, people moved to cities and that gave them new possibilities and made them better people, he said.
“Cities make us smarter, richer and better. Every family has the option to move to different cities, and be given a chance to learn to be smarter and better,” said Romer.
While schools were important institutions, there were many who did not want to return to their books, he added. Drawing reference to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s keynote address, Romer said human capital and connectivity are key ingredients.
Rapid transformation and the pace of urbanisation unfolding now makes it even possible for cities in developing countries to grow and become like Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.
The possibility of learning new skills also enable cities even in countries like Bangladesh to take on more functions and grow to a metropolis like New York.
“The developing world will lead in more built urban areas, perhaps 100 times more than what actually exist in the developing world now. That sounds daunting but not impossible,” he said.
World Bank chief economist Paul Romer.