Towards the Twenty-First Century: New Strategies and Perspectives for Banking
What could the world economy and banking be like in the year 2000? By the turn of the century the USA could account for less than a quarter of world GNP, compared with 40 per cent in the 1960s. The economies of the industrialized countries of the Far East will probably be approaching the national income of the European Community. (Table 7.1) The People’s Republic of China will have incorporated capitalist Hong Kong and will be moving towards a free market economy. The Eastern bloc should have had its first taste of trying to create a balance between an open market and socialism. The major objectives of the EC’s single-market project will probably have been attained, although Europe will still be a long way short of monetary or even political union. Southern Europe will have considerably narrowed the gap between itself and the North. The international debt crisis may have been overcome. (Table 7.2) The industrialized nations in general may well be suffering less from unemployment than from a distinct shortage of skilled manpower. This will stimulate investment aimed at rationalization. New materials, progress in health care and alternative energy sources will also stimulate capital spending. Modern techniques in the fields of organization, communication and automation could boost productivity considerably.
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