IMF Chief Georgieva Optimistic on Economy, Cautious on AI Impact and Middle East Crisis

World | February 12, 2024, Monday // 15:02|  views

Kristalina Georgieva

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva delivered a keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where she offered insights into the state of the global economy and shared her perspectives on various pressing issues. Georgieva struck an optimistic tone, asserting that the global economy is primed for a "soft landing" after experiencing some of the most substantial rate hikes in recent memory. She expressed confidence that interest rates would begin to trend downwards around the middle of 2024, aligning with the trajectory of inflation over the past year.

Addressing concerns surrounding the Middle East crisis, particularly the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Georgieva acknowledged its significant regional ramifications. However, she tempered this acknowledgment by noting that the conflict's direct impact on the broader global landscape remains somewhat contained, notwithstanding disruptions to shipping routes in the Red Sea. Nevertheless, Georgieva voiced apprehension about the potential escalation and protraction of the conflict, warning of the heightened risk of contagion over time.

Transitioning to another pressing issue, Georgieva sounded the alarm on the looming impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the global labor market. Characterizing the impending wave of AI deployment as a "tsunami," she emphasized its potential to reshape job landscapes worldwide. Georgieva cited previous IMF estimates indicating that up to 40% of all jobs could be affected by AI, encompassing newly created roles, those undergoing enhancement, and those facing obsolescence.

Of particular concern to Georgieva was the readiness of countries, especially developing nations, to confront the challenges posed by AI proliferation. She cautioned against the potential exacerbation of inequality resulting from the uneven adoption and adaptation of AI technologies. Georgieva underscored the imperative for developed countries to lead efforts in steering AI development toward equitable outcomes, thereby mitigating the adverse effects of technological disruption on global labor markets.

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Tags: Kristalina Georgieva, IMF, world, economy


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