SEOUL: The chief of the Worldwide Financial Fund warned Thursday that ageing populations in key Asian economies will drag on their progress, urging policymakers to step up their response to shifting demographics.
Research present that Asia’s inhabitants is ageing quicker than anyplace else on the planet, with Japan forecast to develop into the primary “extremely-aged” nation, which means 28 % of the inhabitants is sixty five or over, whereas a fifth of the individuals in South Korea are anticipated to be sixty five by 2030.
Quickly ageing nations together with China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand “could have smaller workforces sooner or later and probably decrease productiveness progress”, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde informed a convention in Seoul.
“We estimate that these nations might face decrease annual GDP progress… by as much as a proportion level,” the IMF chief stated.
China and Japan are the world’s second- and third-largest economies respectively, and slower progress in them dangers having vital knock-on results all over the world.
Lagarde urged governments to “increase the proportion of girls within the workforce” by higher accommodating working moms with extra childcare advantages and incentives for half-time work.
In rising nations comparable to India — the place populations are nonetheless rising — higher schooling for women and wider entry to finance for ladies ought to be prioritised, she stated.
In response to some estimates, she added, closing the gender hole within the employment market might increase Japanese GDP by 9 %, South Korea’s by 10 %, and India’s by 27 %.
At Thursday’s convention, Financial institution of Korea Governor Lee Ju-Yeol additionally referred to as for steps to deal with low delivery charges and create extra jobs for ladies and older individuals.
“A failure in responding to inhabitants ageing will make the escape from attainable structural low progress troublesome,” Lee stated.
An IMF report issued earlier this yr projected inhabitants progress falling to zero in Asia by 2050 and the share of working-age individuals — now at its peak — declining over the approaching many years.
Urging policymakers to behave early to answer the ageing inhabitants, the report warned, “Elements of Asia danger turning into previous earlier than turning into wealthy.”
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