An age-old problem rears its head in new regions

Published: February 1, 2017

Ageing populations are becoming a challenge in emerging and developing economies as they have been in the West for some time. Policymakers must learn lessons from developed countries to tackle the issue before it hits their economies. Phil Thornton reports.

Think of demographic crises and the impact on economies of rising longevity and falling fertility rates, and most people will immediately mention ageing industrialised economies such as Germany and Japan.

But the grim reality is that emerging markets in areas such as Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East are also harbouring an old age time bomb.

“We do tend to think about the West where there are clear demographic challenges, but the more pressing problems are the emerging markets where you have ageing populations and a framework that is not appropriate for an ageing population,” said James Pomeroy, global economist at HSBC bank.

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