Monday, July 25, 2016

Japan Looks To Fourth Industrial Revolution To Help Reach "Impossible" GDP Target

From Forbes:
When Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reelected head of his Liberal Democratic Party last September, he set a new economic goal for the country to attain: Achieve a GDP of 600 trillion yen (roughly 5.7 trillion US$) by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics.

Japan’s GDP in 2015 was around 500 trillion yen (4.8 trillion US$), meaning Japan has to boost its gross domestic product by 100 trillion yen over the next four years to meet Abe’s target. This would entail maintaining an annual growth rate of around 3%. However, last year, Japan only managed to increase its GDP by 0.5%

No surprise then that business leader were quick to criticize the target as “impossible.” Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of the influential Keizai Dokyukai (Association of Corporate Executives), briefed the press at the time saying, “I believe 600 trillion yen is an outrageous figure.” He added, “Frankly speaking, it is an impossible figure.”

But Abe has continued to insist his target can be reached. Besides new fiscal and social policies that aim to increase investment, consumption, wages and the number of people employed, Abe is also promoting a “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Such a revolution will be brought about by having the public and private sectors work together to develop and apply key technologies that will drive Japanese business and industry forward while also changing society in the process.

“Japan is looking at science, technology and innovation as a growth engine for the economy,” says Yuko Harayama, an executive member of Japan’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI)....MORE