They welcomed over 700 participants as well as 110 investors from the BAI office in Bonn and the AIC-studio in Frankfurt. Viewers are interactively involved in lectures and discussions during the virtual AIC and can exchange thoughts and ideas in jump-in discussions, private chats and video calls.
The AIC began with a keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Weder di Mauro, Professor of Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, INSEAD in Singapore and President of the Center for Economic Policy Research in London, on the topic of "The World after COVID", in which she identified the key issues of public debt, climate change, and digitalisation as the greatest economic policy challenges of the coming years.
Drawing on IMF data, Prof. Dr. Weder di Mauro forecasts that the global economy, driven in particular by the USA and China, will recover significantly in 2021 and that global GDP will probably grow by 6%, with inflation rising at the same time, which she puts at over 3% for the USA in the medium term.
Although she predicts the world economy as a whole will recover, not all countries will reap the benefits. Turning to the key topic ESG, Prof. Di Mauro foresees the most vulnerable countries being disproportionately affected by educational losses and employment declines. She expects global inequality to increase significantly, with an additional 100-150 million people facing poverty as a result of the Corona crisis.
The subsequent Q&A sees the topics of ESG and digitalisation hotly debated. Crucial to achieving the ambitious "Net Zero" target is the urgent need to further engage private capital to close the prevailing gigantic investment gap, says Weder di Mauro. She highlights the three key factors of digitalisation, environmental protection and health care, stating that Europe must be part of the solution and lead by example. Di Mauro considers it imperative that all major industrialised countries, including China, get on board. Given the current relevance and urgency, the BAI dedicates an entire conference day to the megatopic of ESG on Thursday.
With regard to crypto-assets, Prof. Weder di Mauro also takes a clear position: the central banks have the lever of government in their hands. Together with regulators they must act sensibly but firmly and prevent cryptocurrencies or stable coins from posing a threat to the global financial system in the future. The same applies to central banks' own CBDC projects. Many more exciting talks and lectures will be held in the next three conference days, including a Keynote-Speech from Dr. Jörg Kukies and Prof. Veronika Grimm, as well as an investor lecture by Bernd Franken.
More information about the conference can be found under https://www.ai-conference.com.
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