Sunday, November 18, 2012

Could The Proclaimed Emerging Economies of The World Be Going Nowhere Slowly?

Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, arrested on sedition charges
So what does these emerging economies need to do to establish themselves and become 'emerged' economies? The should include;
  • Improved infrastructures starting with energy, road networks, education
  • Progressive legislation that sends the signal of safety for interested players
  • Open-door policy to welcoming and assuring immigrants (most major world progressive and successful economies have one thing in common: immigration).
  • Enticing immigration laws that make settling down and setting up business easy for non-indigenes (to enable healthy competition and spur entrepreneurship and invention)
  • Transparent taxing systems that reduces 'unofficial' payments [aka bribes]
  • Valued workforce through policies that both protect workers and lay out transparent system for  redress
  • Tackle corruption seriously, sincerely and openly - (this is probably the main key to achieving the rest)
  • Progressive laws that protect minorities of all types; especially on sexuality, gender and religion
  • Legislate on, and reduce cash flow outside of monetary system (again this would reduce bribery
  • Re-enforce accountability laws that makes public officials answerable to the electorates
  • Rejuvenated healthcare that is accessible at point of need
  • And of course, social security of a sort that serves as safety net for those falling through the cracks; - this would help reduce crime and improve safety.
In the past 5 years since the global economic downturn, the news reams have been dominated by the new-found faith of the up & coming economic powers of the world. It is ever so repeated, referenced, talked about that it now feels more or less like a reality although in truth, it has turned to nothing but a mere propaganda.

Of course, it is great to praise and acknowledge success and amazing achievements; yet what is always forgotten is that in doing so, without properly scrutinizing all the factors that make for attaining the heights, the 'Dream' in question could at some point, become a living moribund, fuzzed up in outward strength but slowly dying within.

Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, etc are the most praised and celebrated as the up and coming economic powers; ready to burst their bounds and take over the world as leading powerhouses of the world. Certainly, this is goodnews for these governments and their people; but what no one is telling [them] is that this is not new for some or all of them.

Countries like Nigeria and India in particular has both been through great findings of wealth in the past but squandered both the opportunity and the wealth. In fact, what sets these countries almost aside is the enormity of their human and natural resources. Theirs are so vast that should they manage them well, could and should rule the world. In comparison to what the likes of Britain and other small countries with fewer and less natural resources has achieved, these mega countries should be kingdoms of the world's economic centres. But they are not.

Secondly, What has always dragged these countries back doesnt seem to be too different from one another but their disregard for equity, equality - hence social justice - and robust vision. Lack of openness and a welcoming environment for people of different creed and race stands at the heart of the suspension that follows each economic discovery.

Perhaps, they might this time around learn from the great and successful developed economies that have been. For all of them, one thing is common and sits are the heart of their prowess; open-door to new and foreign ideas as well as a continuous effort to encourage freedom of speech, association and existence of course. From the USA to Germany, UK to Canada; a good amount of their success is owed to migrants and minority inventors. And to support that, laws that create and support human rights are progressively legislated to ensure safety. Because genius is not the sole property of one sect of humans but all.

Like in the times past, and as we currently see, Nigeria continues to make laws that punish Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) people amongst other negative legislations that send out fear and caution to international investors.

And only recently, India jailed a cartoonist for mocking corruption, thereby signaling to the world that freedom of speech is far from being recognized.

Brazil on other hand is improving especially with the introduction of social securities and compulsory free education. However, it is yet to implement a robust educational infrastructure to sustain the growth of its economy.  This same affects the other emerging economies. For where the population is not well educated, demand for developing policies are non-existent while implementing policies, becomes a hard task.Educating a society also helps in firing up their zeal to invent new ideas, protect existing wealth, and above all, feel equipped against challenges from others thereby making that society less hostile but able to engage intellectually.

These actions, does not only deter the the foreigner or migrating investors, it also stifle local talents and induce brain-drain through the exodus of future wealth generators to live in more freer societies. Because while good economy is good for wealth, comfort, peace and fair opportunity for citizens are necessary to unleash the inventive skills within.

It is not enough to have natural resources and products that is in demand, it is only enough to know how to distribute them as well as how to withstand competition. It also not enough to have human resources; but the ability to take care of them in turn yields great input back into the economy. So an increased social mobility is essential to engineer growth. Of the very high workforce in these emerging economies, it is sad to note that a high percentage may die or become less-productive before retirement age.

Today's world economic success is far removed from the self-styled system of empires of the past but its an open play-field for all interested.

The emerging economies we praise may peak and surely go nowhere slowly unless they each learn from their past and present to change and effect for a better future.

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