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ADB Chairman calls for greater innovation and quicker policy making in facing the 4th Industrial Revolution

ADB Chairman calls for greater innovation and quicker policy making in facing the 4th Industrial Revolution

Philippine
Secretary of Finance and Chairman of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of
Governors, Carlos Dominguez III highlighted the urgent demand for innovation
from institutions to keep up with the blistering pace of today’s disruptive
technological landscape.

Speaking at
the Governors’ Seminar of the Asian Development Bank on “Technological Change,
Globalisation and Jobs in Asia”, Dominguez reiterated the need for swift policy
responses to help member-countries as they navigate the new challenges of a
rapidly changing technology focused economy.

He predicted
that the changing requirements for education and skills, creating vital
infrastructure to support the rapidly reconfiguring economies, guaranteeing
affordable access to goods, providing enough safety nets for people, and
adopting ethical standards for Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key
challenges that member-countries will face in coming years.

He warned
member-countries to be wary of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“It is
driven at a breathtaking speed and rapid changes in technology. While we may
not fully understand where all the disruptive technological changes will take
us, we must innovate our institutions to improve our ability to deal with the
transforming environment,” Dominguez explained during his opening remarks at
the seminar.

“Today,
technological obsolescence could happen in a matter of weeks or months,”
Dominguez said.

While such
flux in global markets might make institutions tentative and social orders very
fluid, these changes also offer a plethora of opportunities.

“Technological
innovation sweeps the entire horizon from manufacturing to biotechnology to
information sharing. Ten years ago, we could not have imagined the advances in
genomics, personalised medicine and 3D printing that we see all around us now,”
he said.

With such
radical technological developments, machine intelligence becomes more powerful
by the day, Dominguez is already looking ahead to the next big opportunity for
member-countries — big data.

Dominguez
said underpinning the 4th Industrial Revolution powered by digital technology
is “the explosion of data, the rise of data analytics and breathtaking advances
in cloud computing,” which can harness unlimited computing power.

Skills
development, tax and subsidy programs that influence firms’ investment and
employment decisions, and the design of social protection systems are among the
relevant concerns to be discussed during the 51st Annual Meeting of
the ADB Board of Governors in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

Dominguez
aims to build on the discussions at the recent Technology
for Inclusion
Conference where he championed a
rethink of development banking strategies.

Anchored
on the theme “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development,” among
the issues discussed during the 51st 
meeting are globalisation, technology and its
impact on jobs and corresponding opportunities, private sector mobilisation in
funding infrastructure, building climate change resilience, expanding
opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and using technology to maximise the
skills of aging populations to make development inclusive.

The
delegates to the ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting, which number over 4,000,
​include finance ministers and central bank governors of ADB member countries,
bankers, representatives from the private sector, civil society, academe,
multilateral institutions and the media.

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