In Europe, inequality is top of the EU’s political agenda.
There needs to be a rethink of policies to put people and the planet before profit.
Everyone, including young people, should be involved in the process.
Investment in infrastructure and training is needed.
International cooperation is vital for inclusive growth.
This session emphasised the ink between both economic and development policy, which could spur inclusive growth. It offered angles from a diverse group of speakers. It was pointed out that pre-market, in-market and post-market policies should be combined to achieve this kind of growth.
In Europe, inequality is top of the European Union’s political agenda, which wasn’t the case just a few years back. The life quality of all EU citizens should be improved through the sharing of income. The last European Commission addressed the financial crisis; the next must tackle inequalities and fight climate change.
In addition, there should be an integrated strategy to share prosperity. Prosperity of all requires the inclusiveness of all – everyone, including young people, should be involved in the process.
It was then questioned why growth has become sluggish in some countries despite much investment. Meanwhile, the planet is suffering due to economic growth. Moreover, the benefits of growth don’t necessarily trickle down fully, leaving the poorest even further behind. A rethink is needed of what policies are taken, to put people and the planet before profit.
It was also suggested that to break the cycle of poverty, it is essential to:
Invest in education.
Enhance physical and digital connectivity.
Improve public institutions.
Provide data on household income and consumption.
The need for investment in infrastructure for people to realise their potential was also highlighted. After all, if education, health and administrative facilities are substandard or non-existent, how can cities and towns and their residents flourish?
The People’s Republic of China has provided aid to some 160 nations, funding 3,000 infrastructure projects and training more than 300,000 people. There was a call for further EU-China cooperation in this area.
It was concluded that stakeholders need to be clear about what they mean by growth – there are differing opinions. Meanwhile, being inclusive and sustainable should always go together. It was also agreed that education and training are vital for citizens to become actors in inclusive growth. Finally, international cooperation is crucial. Without it, the entire process would fail, according to one speaker.
There is a serious issue with developing countries receiving loans to grow but getting into debt afterwards, which is hampering their chances of achieving inclusive growth. This needs to be addressed.