Barclays Bank Economic Outlook Forum held
OPTIMISTIC: Barclays Bank Botswana Chairperson- Motshidisi

IMF estimates 2017 global output at 3.7 percent, revises forecast for 2018 to 3.9 percent

Many economic global trends analysts have predicted a stronger economic global growth in 2018,Barclays Bank of Botswana (BBB) Chairman and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Botswana (BoB) Andrew Motshidisi has said.

Speaking at the recent BBB Economic Outlook Forum held at the Masa Square Hotel in Gaborone this week, Motshidisai noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated a 2017 global economic output at 3.7 percent and revised the forecast for 2018 upwards to 3.9 percent.

The Chairperson, who was addressing dignitaries from various banking institutions and financial specialists at the daylong forum further highlighted that Sub Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 3.3 percent in 2018.

Global events such as the recent United States of America (USA) elections, the United Kingdom exit from the European Union, (BREXIT), the Spanish autonomy vote and the rattling in the Korean Peninsula, and momentous political and economic events in our region and the African continent, gave many reasons to be pessimistic but the out turn was not as nearly bleak as anticipated.

“While some of the risks highlighted above still persist, I urge you to start 2018 with a sense of optimism because while domestic output was relatively lackluster in 2017, the projections for 2018 and beyond are positive. And if the projected GDP growth of 5.3 percent materializes in 2018, that would entail more opportunities to grow our business,” he said, linking the projections to the 2018/19 Budget presented to parliament earlier this month.

Assumptions underlying the budget are more optimistic with a budget surplus expected beyond 2019.

“This is an environment we should prepare for and take full advantage of; by pursuing the opportunities that will arise,” Motshidisi said.

Meanwhile BBB Chief Operations Officer (COO), Keabetswe Pheko-Moshangane said the forum’s two sessions gave an insightful analysis of global trends, regional developments, and reviews on the local economy and business landscape as well as discussions on how Financial Technology (Fintech) is reshaping banking.

The COO observed that the local economy is heavily dependent on the performance in the global economy as it provides a market for exports.

“The world economy has turned a new leaf and prospects for a steady and strengthening recovery have improved,” said Pheko-Moshangane, further stating that the business landscape discussion pointed to a number of important challenges and opportunities in the environment financial institutions operate in.

Speaking on Fintech, the COO said the Fintech revolution is upon us and disclosed an interest in finding out how the financial services sector is responding in that space.

The forum was divided into two sessions with the first half delving into the 2018 economic landscape and the 2018 business landscape while the last session focused on how Fintech is reshaping the financial services sector.

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