Lagarde urges Asia to close regulation and tech gaps

11 Apr 18

Asian economies should close regulatory gaps and improve access to digital services, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has said.

Addressing meeting in Hainan, China, attended by President Xi, she congratulated Asia on contributing two thirds of global growth and the president for committing to opening up business sectors including banking, insurance and automotive.

Lagarde said though that Asia would benefit from “closing a few gaps” including access to digital financial services.

A second gap concerned regulation of financial technology industries, which “if not closed both domestically and on a cross-border basis, can lead to systemic risks”.

The third gap was innovation, where the region had made progress but needed to sustain this so it could export innovative products.

“Until recently much of the creation of new technology was concentrated in a small number of advanced economies, but that is changing,” Lagarde said.

“Two thirds of the world’s industrial robots are to be found in this region, predominantly in Japan, South Korea, and China. This needs to be continued.

“And it is through trade that innovation will continue to be shared, and that Asia will transform itself from being an importer of innovation to also being an exporter of innovation.”

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