The World in 2020

By Library Peer Advisors Yiling & Shubhangi

Attendees started flowing in as soon as the Registration desk was set-up. The World in 2020, an event organised by Singapore Management University was graced by an esteemed panel consisting of Dr. Simon Baptist, Waqas Adenwala from The Economist, Prof. Tan Swee Liang (Economics) and Dean (Lee Kong Chian School of Business) Gerry George from SMU. Among the attendees were Professors, undergraduate and postgraduate students, librarians and Ms. Gulcin Cribb, the University Librarian. The event saw a great turnout with first 20 registrants receiving a free copy of The Economist’s World in 2020.

It started off with the introduction of the panel and soon after Dr. Simon took over. Highlighting the micro and macro aspects of what lies ahead, he began with the American politics and the febrile Presidential elections of 2020. The possibility of American economy experiencing waves of recession- albeit feeble. Briefly touching upon European Banks, he explained the likelihood of them battling with negative interest rates. Next came the US-China trade war and how Singapore has found itself in a dilemma since both the countries are very close differently-economically and culturally. Political unrest in Hong Kong has benefitted Singapore in ways more than one. Numerous multinationals have sought to relocate their headquarters to Singapore-owing to its stable business environment.

The World in 2020
Dr Simon talks about economy outlook

Addressing the Chinese economy, he mentioned its growth may witness a year of lacklustre in 2020. Moving on, he explains how sustainability has become a rage among businesses-at least now everyone is aware and talking about it. Australian forests are ablaze- thanks in no small part to the adverse effects of climate change, which has led to communities across the world protesting and urging governments to take a stance before it’s too late. He further discussed about the US Airstrike on Iran that resulted in the killing of one of the most important Generals of the latter, and its impact on the world oil prices.

US-China average tariffs heading towards 25%
US GDP growth is slowing

After Dr. Baptist concluded his speech, Dean George asked a few thought-provoking questions pertaining ageing population in Singapore and Healthcare provisions to the panel. This entailed a series of discussions between Prof. Liang, Adenwala and Dr. Baptist. Later, the floor was open to the audience for questions and comments. Needless to say, the panel was overwhelmed with questions and graciously answered as many as the time allowed.

Dean George moderating the session
Panellists answering questions posted by audience

Towards the end, our University Librarian, Madam Cribb, presented a token of appreciation to The Economist team and thanked them for an informative session. The talk gave us many insights on the economic scene and opened many perspectives and thought provoking questions for us to think about in the economic scene of 2020.