BANGKOK (Reuters) – The world is run out of silver and gold, but not all the world can use them, a Nobel laureate said on Wednesday.
The world is short of a third of its projected total reserves, but it can still make up the shortfall with imports from the former Soviet Union, the United States and other places, Nobel laureate and World Bank director-general Nisha Biswal said in an interview with Reuters.
“It can still purchase gold from the west or copper from the east, it can sell iron ore from Russia and other parts of the world,” she said.
“If you have enough gold and silver, then there are plenty of places that you can go and make gold or copper or iron ore or whatever you want, and you can make it at home.”
The world can buy gold from Kazakhstan, for example, which is already producing a lot of it, and from Russia, which produces the metal in the former Eastern Bloc.
Biswal also said the world could trade in precious metals for other goods, such as silver, to boost economic growth and lift people out of poverty.
The United States is the only major world power without a gold reserve.
The United States, Japan and other countries, have made gold a central part of their economies, but they have not yet started to use it.
Gold reserves are used by the world’s central banks to ensure the price of gold stays fixed.
The gold reserves in the United Kingdom are currently worth about 1.3 trillion pounds, according to the Bank for International Settlements, which monitors global gold reserves.
The World Bank has said it needs around 10.7 trillion pounds of gold by 2030 to prevent another global financial crisis.
The Bank for Economic Cooperation and Development (BEC) expects the United Nations’ gold price to be between $1,500 and $2,200 per ounce by 2020.
The global economy is in recession, and the World Bank expects that it will slow to about 5 percent this year.BISWAW SAYS WORLD COULD BUY MORE GOLD FROM THE EAST AND THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER PLACES”We’re talking about the world in the 2030s, not the 2030s,” Biswaw said.
“The problem is that we’re already running out.”
“If we don’t take action, then in the 2020s, we will have to ask ourselves: ‘Is this the time to get more gold from Africa and Asia?'”
Biswaw, who is now vice chair of the BEC, said the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) should start developing more detailed data on the trade in metals, and if necessary, implement policies to encourage more trade.