I am pleased to share with you the summary of the 2018 Amundi World Investment Forum. As every year, we try to capture the ideas, trends, and problems of the moment. Over the past year this has been the contradiction between an improving economic environment at a time of mounting geopolitical uncertainty and tensions. This calls for an in-depth analysis to separate the short-term constraints from the long-term challenges, and to explore the implications they have for investment. In other words, the title of the Forum: Long-term Thinking Beyond Short-term Constraints. Mind the gap!
We were fortunate to hear from some of the world’s most renowned and independent-minded speakers this year, including Janet Yellen, Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Rogoff, Nouriel Roubini, and Enrico Letta. They, and our in-house experts, esteemed clients, and prominent CIOs, gave us invaluable insights into how we can turn the challenges into opportunities. The disruptive trends we debated at the 2017 Forum did not abate over the last twelve months. If anything, the trend toward populism and protectionism grew. The United States continued to withdraw or challenge the world order it helped create, and Europe still could not find a united voice.
Global economic growth is back, but can it last when existing trade and investment regimes are under threat and economic and political power are shifting in our increasingly multipolar world? This was why the 2018 Forum focused on long-term thinking, looking beyond the short-term constraints posed by unsettling political developments.
The first day we focused on understanding geopolitical and macroeconomic developments and how to weigh them in investment decisions. In an increasingly volatile environment investors must build resilient portfolios and unearth new opportunities to meet short- and long-term objectives. Our speakers identified not just the political and economic trends, but the specific drivers and risks for constructing effective investment strategies.
On the second day we focused on responsible investment and long-term value creation, as well as the profound effects aging populations are having have on our economies and investment decisions. We, the financial actors of the world, have a responsibility to find opportunities in today’s unpredictable setting. We don’t just have to “mind the gap”, we have to bridge the gap, not only for the benefit of our clients, but for the benefit of the world. Our decisions and strategies matter, and the 2018 Amundi World Investment Forum gave us the guidance and solutions we need.