One Indian Airways executive lamented that Emirates Airline has become the national carrier of India. It s also becoming one of investment. When Agricultural Bank of China, one of China s largest state-owned banks, floated shares to the public in , it broke the record for the largest initial public offering IPO in history. The answer is bulging cash coffers, owing mostly to Asian purchases of Qatari liquefied natural gas. Kuwait, too, owes much of its wealth to Asian buyers of its crude not to mention an American security umbrella. The AgBank IPO was a seminal moment, an exclamation point on China s move to a market economy, away from the destructive state socialism espoused by Mao Zedong and generations of Chinese communist leaders.
AgBank was originally set up by Mao to cater to rural peasants. The bank, with its original humble clientele, as front-page news in the global business dailies is just one of the many ironies of today s China. But the big news is that the major buyers were neither Western banks nor banks based in Hong Kong or Singapore but small city-states in the Persian Gulf.
AgBank later knocked it out of the record books. Were Hong Kong banks the largest buyers of shares? Goldman Sachs? Meanwhile, South Korean contractors have invested heavily in their GCC operations, winning a string of high-profile contracts like the United Arab Emirates nuclear energy infrastructure, and Islamic finance links are growing, from Kuala Lumpur to Bahrain, Dubai and London.
It refers to much of that same region as West Asia. The difference is telling. Indeed, Middle East is a term invented by an American naval strategist of the early 20th century, writing in a British publication. In , Alfred Thayer Mahan wrote: The Middle East, if I may adopt a term of which I have not seen, should be an area of emerging strategic interest for the British navy, mostly because of its location halfway to India. Today, it is a widely accepted term, even in the Middle East itself.
The nationally run Saudi Arabian Oil Company Saudi Aramco has been sending young managers to China for language training for more than a decade, and its key management training program takes place in both Washington, D. Saudi Aramco, too, has seen the writing on the wall and recently opened an office in Beijing to handle its growing Asian concerns. Using the term Middle East for the GCC countries marginally captures a sense of the political geography of the region but fails entirely to capture its commercial geography or its cultural geography of intermingling with India, Iran and even China in the early years of Islam.
But more relevant today, GCC trade with Asia far surpasses trade with the. The GCC political elites might spend much of their time worrying about Egypt and Syria, but an implosion in China would do far more damage to their bottom line. Indeed, U. Navy protection of the Persian Gulf sea lanes should be seen as a superpower protecting the global commons rather than its own oil interests.
After all, most of that oil and gas goes to the East, allowing China and the rest of Asia to free ride on the American security umbrella. When a group of Indonesian sea-cucumber divers discovered a sunken barge in , they had little idea that it was, as National Geographic magazine put it, the most important marine archaeological discovery ever made in Southeast Asia.
They found a ninth-century sunken Arab dhow with 60, handmade pieces of Tang Dynasty gold, silver and ceramics. In addition to the enormous archaeological bounty, here was physical proof of Arab dhows traveling along the Maritime Silk Road. Arab and Persian merchants spread Islam in Southeast Asia via trade, not the sword. The goods aboard the ship were likely headed for Basra from the Chinese port city of Guanghzou.
At the time, China was a global economic power, and some 10, foreign traders and Energy-hungry China is increasingly tied to the Persian Gulf states, and one of its most important relationships lies with Saudi Arabia. The Abbasid caliphate, with its seat in Baghdad, was also a leading global economic power, and the trade and commerce between these two poles of influence fueled local economies across Asia both West and East.
What we are witnessing today is a revival of a relationship dating back more than 1, years. Turning Points The year proved to be a crucial year in the revival of the New Silk Road maritime route. Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping moved China gingerly toward a market economy. China s historic economic rise began. And as China grew, its demand for energy grew. In , China, for the first time, could not meet its energy needs with oil produced at home. Thus began its quest for energy around the world. Energy-hungry China is increasingly tied to the Persian Gulf states, and one of its most important relationships lies with Saudi Arabia.
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How he chose to visit Saudi Arabia is revealing. First, Hu flew to Washington, D. After meetings there ended, he flew directly to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The combination of the two capitals in one foreign trip sent a powerful signal: Riyadh stands in the same league as Washington in the eyes of China s leadership.
Saudi Arabia now provides China nearly 1 million barrels of oil per day, about one-fifth of its imports. More important, the two oil market players the supply heavyweight and the demand heavyweight have moved their relationship beyond the transactional and toward strategic cooperation. Saudi Aramco, China Petrochemical Corp. Sinopec Group and Exxon Mobil Corp. The facility is located in Fujian province and, as a result of the joint venture, the refinery s capacity has tripled to , barrels per day. Saudi Aramco has also partnered with Sinopec and ExxonMobil for the retail, storage, transport and sale of refined products in Fujian province.
Meanwhile, Sinopec has entered Saudi turf. The refinery aims to use , barrels per day of Saudi crude to produce transportation fuels for international and domestic markets. Additionally, Sinopec is busy exploring for gas in Saudi Arabia. Looking to Eighty million people enter our world every year the equivalent of adding a new Germany or, more appropriately, a new Egypt. The better example is Egypt: Today, 75 percent of the world s population lives in Africa or Asia; the vast majority of those new arrivals will be in Africa or Asia, mostly from poorer and less-developed regions.
Sub-Saharan Africa s population could double even triple in the next 40 years. By , Africa s population will be roughly equivalent to the population of North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean combined. By , two out of three humans will live in Asia. Demographics are not always destiny, but they are a pretty good indicator of future demand.
Asia s robust demand for energy will continue to bring it closer to the GCC states. In the process, the GCC s economic pivot to Asia will grow. But advances in technology, a worldwide quest for energy, complex supply chains and a financial crisis that rattled the globe have helped bring them closer than ever before to developed economies. While Europe and the United States have been slow to recover from the Great Recession, Asia and Latin America are home to some of the world s most dynamic markets and that is exactly where many businesses are seeking opportunities for growth. He led Renault s investor relations until , the year the company partnered with Nissan Motor Co.
Thormann has held numerous positions with both companies in Tokyo and Paris.
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Before moving to Bloomberg s Washington, D. He has worked as a freelance reporter in Italy and served as a New York Times contributor. How has their increased prominence since the summit altered the world s economic landscape? Dominique Thormann: The prominence of emerging-market economies became visible institutionally then, but the economic forces at play were in place several years prior. In fact, the term emerging market is often a misnomer. In the automotive industry, for example, China is the world s largest car market by far, representing roughly 25 percent of global sales.
Europe, by contrast, used to represent one-third of car sales; today that number is down to 15 percent. In the field of information systems, India became a powerhouse in the late 90s as many Indian firms were retained to work on the famous Y2K bug on the eve of Trade, energy and capital flows were all adapting to this new global reality by the time the G was held in As if these structural changes weren t enough, the United States was transitioning between two administrations, the financial crisis was at its peak after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and Europeans were calling for a new Bretton Woods all at once!
Wingfield: People often refer to emerging economies as one unit, but each economy is, of course, different. How do you see this global sector developing as nations and regions within the sector have different rates of economic success? Thormann: The acronym BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] was coined a few years ago in an attempt to describe a group of emerging economies and, as such, created an illusion that the developed economies of the United States, Europe and Japan now had to contend with a homogeneous bloc.
However, so-called emerging economies often have little in common except for the fact that economic prosperity is now accruing to the most populous countries of the world. With the passage of time, differences around issues of security, energy and infrastructure, just to mention a few, are appearing at the national level.
Societies in these five very different countries are coping with these transformations in different ways and are not necessarily aligned among themselves. Wingfield: What is the greatest challenge emerging-market economies face in the next five years? What do you think will be the biggest surprise in the development of emerging markets in that time? Thormann: It s difficult to make a broad statement encompassing all emerging markets, but in all likelihood, the political, social and environmental constraints associated with periods of strong economic growth will put pressure on policymakers to cope with contradictory objectives.
The same causes often produce the same effects: In time, emerging economies may well face identical policy agendas as in developed economies except that the world is now globalized. While history does not necessarily repeat itself, there are similarities if you look at the early 20th century in the United States and the pattern of development in emerging economies.
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The desire to consume is the same as it was when Henry Ford understood that workers had to be able to afford the cars that they themselves were assembling. That observation led to an increase in wages and benefits and a simultaneous increase in the standard of living. But at the time because there was no competition from emerging economies this protected the developed ones, such as the United States and Europe.
Wingfield: Growing pains have accompanied the rise of emerging markets. The quest for energy has placed strains on the environment. The emergence of a new global middle class has increased demand for more clean water and food. Demographic shifts have dramatically altered consumption patterns. How do you see the world adjusting to these heightened demands on limited resources?
Thormann: When the developed economies were growing rapidly in the post- World War II era, for example , environmental and resource constraints were rarely, if ever, mentioned. Those constraints exist today as a greater proportion of the world s population aspires to the same standard of living as in the developed world.
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And it s easy to understand why. Poverty and hunger are receding. With technology, food and energy efficiency, to take two examples, are incomparable with the condition that existed at the same point in the development cycle of the mature economies. Technology is compressing time in a spectacular fashion, making predictions and forecasts harder, which then has an impact on policy, which often appears to be lagging reality.
How do you see this affecting global supply chains, and what effect will it have on both emerging and developed markets? Thormann: There was is still? In fact, many parts of the world, such as South America and Africa, are trading with China. But beyond trade, China is also engaged in offshoring and nearshoring as some countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, become more competitive.
At the same time, there are examples of previously offshored activities from American or European companies that are returning to their home markets as they adjust levels of competitiveness.
Once again, the auto industry, including the upstream suppliers, is a good example to watch. Wingfield: China s slowdown is having ripple effects across the globe, especially in Latin America, where it has tempered the commodities boom. The United States and Europe are still struggling economically. How do you see these trends affecting global trade during the next decade, and what role will emerging markets play?
Thormann: Making economic predictions is always tricky, but there needs to be more evidence to conclude that something structural is occurring. Economies expand and contract over time, and China is no different. Going from strong growth to moderate growth feels like a recession, which is technically correct; but it s still growth. There is no doubt that the essence of growth in the future will still come from emerging economies. The demographics at play at least in the foreseeable future still favor the emerging economies. Imagine the economic potential in Nigeria, which is already the seventh-most-populous country in the world.
Wingfield: How has the rise of emerging markets affected Renault? What is the company s emergingmarket strategy? Thormann: When Renault entered into a strategic alliance with Nissan in , Renault s home market, Europe, represented a third of the global car market and about 90 percent of the company s sales. These days, Renault s home market represents just 15 percent of auto sales.
Investing for growth outside Europe was mandatory. Today, non-european sales represent 50 percent of the company s total. The company s success in emerging markets is intimately tied to its product plan, which offers a wide range of highquality, affordable cars that are very profitable. Threequarters of Renault sales in Brazil are in the entry range, as are 80 percent of sales in Russia.
To keep costs down, investments were made in local production. But at the same time, local market requirements were written into product plans. As an example, the same car in Brazil will have different interior upholstery than in India, where the rear seat is larger with an extra air-conditioning unit for passengers being driven. In a globalized automotive market, local specifications and customer requirements are a must. Information flows on the Internet much faster than cars on an assembly line.
Thormann: I had no idea that I would one day be the CFO of a major global automotive company, nor did I know that part of my career would be spent in Japan. The world I grew up in was simple compared to today s. But because of SAIS s unique academic approach, I acquired what was needed to cope with complexity, diversity and globalization a word that didn t exist when I was in school.
The only path to success, in the business world at least, is to accept all three. Wingfield: The global economy has changed much since the economic crisis of What advice would you give to SAIS students planning to enter the workforce this spring? Thormann: You can t wind the clock backward; things will not return to pre-crisis levels, and I would advise students not to think that there will be a post-crisis. The world is going through multiple transformations simultaneously, with no end in sight. More than ever, students should embrace the world as being full of opportunities, even if nothing looks like the past.
Emerging Markets Changing Interests in the By Pravin Krishna and Matthias Matthijs Post-World War II discussions in concerning the international economic order were strongly influenced by the view that restrictions on commerce and preferences in trade relations had contributed to the dramatic economic downturn of the s and the subsequent outbreak of war.
With the lessons of the Tariff Act of or Smoot-Hawley and the destructive beggar thy neighbor policies where some countries use protectionist tools like currency devaluation and trade barriers mainly at the expense of other countries of the Great Depression fresh in mind, the victors aspired to the establishment of a liberal and inclusive multilateral trade system. Free trade, one of the greatest blessings a government can confer on a people, as 19th-century British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay once remarked, was to spur economic growth and gradually spread its benefits all over the world.
This meant that developing countries were automatically granted the benefits of any tariff reductions undertaken by the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD the North without needing to offer any reciprocal tariff reductions of their own. Nevertheless, for many decades, the share of global trade involving developing countries remained relatively small. Most developing countries grew slowly; many took advantage of their special status within the GATT to establish egregiously protectionist trade regimes, restraining their own trade and hampering their growth prospects.
Lacking the promise of reciprocal reductions in trade barriers, liberalization undertaken by the developed countries unsurprisingly ignored the products of greatest interest to the developing world notably agriculture and textiles which further limited any progress in developing countries trade participation. The three most significant multilateral trade negotiation rounds of the postwar period the Kennedy Round in the s, the Tokyo Round in the s, and the Uruguay Round, to were mostly concluded once a deal was struck between the United States and the countries of the European Economic Community.
Lacking real economic clout, developing countries were of little relevance in the final proceedings. After the Wall Came Down Since the Berlin Wall came down in and the Cold War was buried along with the Soviet Union in the early s, much has changed in the global economic, political and technological landscape. Falling transportation and communication costs, the spread of neoliberal ideas, lower barriers to trade and expanding global production networks have allowed for a much larger contribution to world trade by the South.
Between and , China and India both experienced double-digit growth in their exports, averaging around 15 percent annually. Middleincome economies such as Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey grew their exports at nearly 10 percent annually. Overall, low- and middle-income countries more than doubled their share of global trade from roughly 20 percent in to more than 40 percent in In parallel with the increased importance of the South in world trade, South-South trade flows have also increased substantially.
Specifically, the share of exports from low-income countries going to low- and middleincome markets has nearly doubled from around 22 percent to more than 40 percent of the total , and the share of exports from middle-income countries to low- and middle-income markets has also increased from around 30 percent to nearly 50 percent. Furthermore, overall trade shares of those countries have risen much faster than the growth in their output. What are the political and economic implications of this shift in the pattern of international trade? The answer to this question will vary, depending on which perspective one takes in particular, whether one is exploring the issue from the point of view of the North or the South or the world trade system.
But before turning to those different viewpoints, it is worth pointing out that, as trade theory predicts, lower trade costs have enabled all nations to further specialize in the goods and services of their comparative advantage. Market participants everywhere in the global economy continue to find more innovative ways to generate production efficiencies and deliver lowercost goods, benefiting consumers worldwide. But the political economy of trade also teaches us that even though the overall gains from trade outweigh the losses the benefits tend to be widespread and dispersed, while the costs tend to be concentrated and specific to producers in particular industries.
As long as these producers remain better organized politically than consumers, trade liberalization remains a tough political sell. The fact that the South has a much larger share in world trade now than in the early s has done nothing to change that. Indeed, it might have made political economy questions of distribution, of winners and losers both within and between countries more salient than ever.
North vs. South: Differing Perspectives Since the recent global financial crisis, beginning in , the economic performance of the high-income countries has differed considerably from that of the emerging economies, with the United States and the countries of the European Union suffering the most to get back to pre-crisis trend levels.
The countries in the South, however, while slowing down somewhat in , have rebounded much faster since and have continued to experience robust economic growth. From the perspective of a fragile and slowly recovering American economy, a feeble Japan and a continental European economy mired in sovereign debt, the South s demand for the North s exports has acted as an important buffer and played a key part in driving the global economic recovery.
In addition, various monetary experiments with quantitative easing conducted by the U. The view from the South regarding trade has been largely positive too. Since , the North s growing demand for goods produced in the developing world has enabled the rapid economic transitions of large developing countries such as Brazil, China and India from being minor players in the global trading system to especially in the Chinese case economic 30 SAISPHERE.
As various parts of the global production chain have relocated, for efficiency reasons, from the North to the low-wage production networks of Asia and Latin America, the South has seen faster growth. This has greatly improved living standards, boosted internal demand and lifted millions out of poverty. The View From Geneva From the perspective of the Genevabased WTO, the world trade system has proceeded on two divergent tracks over the last two decades.
On the one hand, WTO member countries began a new round of trade negotiations, the Doha Round, launched in Qatar in November Emphasizing the particular interests of developing-country members, especially in attempting to finally get to the long-ignored issue of liberalization in the agricultural sector the Doha Development Agenda , this multilateral round of negotiations has nevertheless failed to achieve successful closure.
On the other hand, member countries, both from the North and the South, have deviated from the WTO s nondiscriminatory principles and entered into preferential agreements with each other numbering in the hundreds. The emergence of the South as a significant player in world trade and, separately, the growing importance of South-South trade had implications for both the multilateral round of trade negotiations and the pace with which the trade system has moved in the direction of preferential trading agreements.
At Doha, developing countries participated with greater vigor and interest than in previous rounds but negotiated with an acute awareness of their own growing economic might. A set of negotiated concessions between all the members referred to as Doha lite , which could have been agreed upon, was nevertheless abandoned. Developed countries, recognizing that developing-country markets now offer greater economic opportunities, held out for larger concessions from the South, especially on manufacturing sometimes called Doha heavy. Both sides have negotiated with their gaze partially deflected from the multilateral process and toward bilateral processes instead.
Also, countries in the North have sometimes found it easier to sign agreements with each other and potentially advantageous to negotiate bilaterally with individual countries or small groups of countries in the South than to substantially engage the multilateral process. Indeed, they have used the threat of proceeding on the bilateral track to bend the multilateral process in their preferred direction. As then-u. Trade Representative Susan Schwab pointedly noted in June , Everyone knows that if there is no Doha Agreement, we are perfectly capable of moving ahead on the bilateral track.
Post-War Trade Lessons The key question facing the emerging countries of the South is whether they stand to benefit more from bilateral deals with Europe and the United States where they still negotiate from a position of relative weakness or whether they can find common ground in breathing new life into a quasimoribund Doha Development Agenda. While bilateral deals with the North or among themselves offer the attractiveness of speed and expediency, there is no doubt that a more comprehensive and durable multilateral deal at the WTO offers the most secure guarantee for continued growth and prosperity for all.
One of the lessons of the Great Depression was that trade blocs can cause trade wars. We can only hope that both the North and the South take this lesson to heart. Matthias Matthijs B 02, 03, Ph. The authors are co-chairs of the Bernard L. Plummer Trade Transforming the Global Economy? But while spurring growth and development via trade is a priority for all members, negotiations have been difficult. The DDA was put on hold in , with little to show for negotiators intense efforts save the successful launch of Aid for Trade, a commitment by donor countries to help developing economies integrate into the global marketplace.
This has prompted fears that the WTO is losing its relevance in the new international economic architecture and risking divisions in the global marketplace. The vast majority of these new freetrade areas are North-South between developed and developing economies or South-South between developing economies.
The blame for the Doha Development Agenda impasse is usually placed on a North-South split, but the reality is more complicated. Indeed, the impasse might be construed as a sign of maturity in the global system rather than a weakness. Today, developing economies are playing a larger role in an increasingly complicated international trade architecture with more comprehensive coverage of trade-related topics.
Naturally, pouring this new wine into old wineskins creates tensions. Southern Leadership? Multilateral negotiations under the WTO s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT , were successful in bringing down traditional barriers to trade tariffs in traditional sectors manufacturing. For example, the average tariff on manufacturing in the United States and the European Union has fallen to less than 4 percent and to less than 2 percent in the case of Japan. Emergingand developing-economy tariffs tend to be higher than in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development but have come down even more impressively: Over the period , the simple average tariff on manufactures fell from 15 percent to 9 percent in China and from 32 percent to 10 percent in India.
But tariffs in most manufacturing sectors have been relatively easy to address in past rounds of trade negotiations; much harder to deal with are non-tariff and behind-the-border barriers that can inhibit trade as well as politically sensitive labor-intensive manufacturers such as textiles and garments and agriculture.
The diverse trade-related frameworks and political contexts of the WTO member countries make tackling trade-related domestic policy reform all the more difficult. For instance, trade in services is growing in importance in the global system, but multilateral liberalization via the General Agreement on Trade in Services has accomplished little thus far because barriers exist mainly behind the border for example, with respect to restrictions on foreign ownership and are harder to address.
As trade policy is a function of domestic politics, it is no wonder the DDA has hit strong headwinds. Nevertheless, this North-South divide covers only part of the maturity story. In effect, developing countries have become more active at the DDA because most have now embraced an outward-oriented development strategy and depend on the international marketplace to promote growth and development. In the past, these countries were not active at GATT rounds, as they generally chose to free-ride on commitments between developed countries from which they also received most-favored-nation benefits.
The cost of this approach became evident in time; the sectors being liberalized were of principal interest to developed rather than developing countries. There is also a South- South theme. The share of emerging markets in global economic activity has been rising significantly. For example, Asian economies constituted 28 percent of the global economy in , up from 8 percent in , and this share is projected to rise to 40 percent in and 52 percent in , according to the Asian Development Bank. Other key emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia and South Africa, are also on the rise.
In short, the dominance of the North in the global marketplace is steadily eroding, and leadership from Southern economies will naturally have to emerge if the global trading system is to move forward. Asian economies constituted 28 percent of the global economy in , up from 8 percent in , and this share is projected to rise to 40 percent in and 52 percent in But Southern leadership in the global system is also fraught with problems, given existing tensions across key emerging-market economies. South-South trade has been rising considerably, led by countries such as Brazil, China and India.
Industrial structures in general and export structures in particular tend to be more competitive in a South-South context than in a North-South context. Hence, we would expect political interests in these Southern economies would be especially sensitive to competition from their fellow emerging economies.
Arguably, trade patterns are reinforcing these sensitivities. China s trade with other developing economies has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years and tends to be dominated by China s exporting manufactures in exchange for natural resource-related goods. The reaction in other emerging markets has sometimes been negative: Some fear this could be a new manifestation of dependencia, giving wind to the sails of domestic protectionist interests. Brazil has been particularly critical of what it sees as undervalued exchange rates and has threatened possible retaliation via protectionism, prompting strong criticism from China.
Regional Free-Trade Areas As multilateral trade negotiations become more difficult, regional free-trade areas have been picking up momentum, to no small degree because they include a coalition of the willing of two or more countries, which renders trade negotiations much easier than in the case of the large, diverse WTO membership. Until recently, these RTAs tended to be limited to two countries, but lately there has been a movement to remedy the spaghetti bowl of bilaterals via large regional agreements and South-South cooperation has been an important part of this process.
The RCEP was launched in November , and negotiators met for the second time in September While it has a long way to go and its exact scope remains to be worked out, RCEP represents an interesting approach to South-South cooperation, with ASEAN in the driver s seat of an economic space that will soon constitute two-fifths of global output. Elsewhere in the developing world, ministers of the African Union have proposed the creation of a continental or pan-african free-trade agreement, which would bring together the hodgepodge of smaller, overlapping RTAs in Africa. Latin America also has periodically envisioned a regionwide free-trade agreement, beginning with the failed Latin American Free Trade Association in the s and continuing to date.
These mega-regional accords in the South could well constitute an important part of the world trading system in the medium term. In short, the rising importance of emerging and developing economies in the global trading system will increasingly influence the changing global trade architecture. While the process of remaking global and regional trading regimes will create challenges, it also promises opportunities for greater inclusiveness and, ultimately, growth and development.
In any event, as developed-country dominance falls, Southern leadership will need to emerge as a proactive force in shaping the new trade regime to the benefit of the global economy. China wants to do business in Africa its Africa trade, investment and project finance are all sharply on the rise. Despite considerable improvements in governance since the end of the Cold War, political instability and corruption still plague many countries.
Perhaps even more challenging are infrastructure weaknesses. In most African cities, residents are lucky to get water and electricity for several hours a day. Congested ports, a shortage of bridges, potholes that can swallow a car: All act as a costly tax on producers, whether small scale or large, African or foreign. The Chinese have long appreciated that to become prosperous, first build a road. Yet across many parts of Africa, rural people still walk on tracks, carrying goods on their heads.
Only 12 percent of existing African roads are paved.
Infrastructure is critical to poverty reduction and necessary for any pathway toward prosperity. Roads and bridges transport farmers products to markets and make it easier for women to get to clinics for safer births. Clean water and sanitation can sharply reduce deaths from waterborne disease. Telecommunications empowers producers, traders and consumers. Power may be the most critical shortage in Africa. According to the same World Bank study, the 49 countries in sub-saharan Africa, with some million people, together generate.
Power allows factories to manufacture goods and surgeons to operate. Yet at least 30 countries face persistent power cuts, requiring the expensive use of emergency power generators. In Nigeria, Africa s most populous country, people can expect an average of only 30 hours of electricity per week. A central dilemma for poor countries that want to build power plants, ports and railways is how to pay for these expensive projects.
Nearly half the countries in sub-saharan Africa still rely on foreign aid as their largest single source of external finance. Although donors such as the United States have been generous in committing foreign aid funds to Africa, the assistance has not helped much in closing the infrastructure gap. Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD the club of mainly wealthy industrialized countries target only 10 percent of their aid to infrastructure. Clearly, foreign aid is not going to fill this gap.
Could not some African governments pay for this infrastructure themselves? The list of the continent s natural resource-rich countries expands every year. Ghana is now an exporter of oil. Mozambique has one of the world s largest natural gas fields. Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania and Uganda are all reporting potentially significant new finds of oil or gas. Yet while the export of natural resources is likely to increase government revenues, it can also be a curse for development.
These exports can pull money, expertise and support away from traditional sectors such as agriculture. Resource inflows can push up exchange rates and make manufactured exports uncompetitive. Corruption can grow. Demands for patronage can escalate, especially for leaders with fragile ruling coalitions. What if African governments had another way to make better use of their natural resource exports? And what if this alternative offered governments the means to finance public works projects, provide electricity and pave roads? And finally, suppose this approach meant African leaders would tie their own hands so as not to succumb to demands for patronage and the temptations of embezzlement.
How China Modernized Its Own Infrastructure In the mids, when China was just beginning to turn away from a North Korean-like autarchic socialism toward the global market, the country s leaders realized they badly needed modern power plants, ports and railroads. Like many African countries today, China had no access to global capital markets and earned scarce foreign exchange through the export of oil to Japan. In , Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping gave a speech in which he suggested that China could sign deferred payment plans to accelerate its own development, importing equipment and expertise and paying later with natural resource exports.
An offshore escrow account would collect payments from Japanese companies for the Chinese oil and coal and use the money to repay Japanese banks for the infrastructure projects and other Japanese technology exports. This model of project finance a line of credit, on commercial terms, with deferred repayment in resources to lower risks helped China move forward on its infrastructure modernization.
China has been providing modest foreign aid grants and interest-free loans for infrastructure and other projects in Africa for many decades. In the s, China built the 3-megawatt Kinkon and Tinkisso hydropower plants in Guinea, the megawatt Bouenza hydropower plant in Congo, and the famous Tazara railway between landlocked Zambia and the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
In the s, Chinese aid financed A central dilemma for poor countries that want to build power plants, ports and railways is how to pay for these expensive projects. All of these were carried out by Chinese firms, most of which brought in substantial numbers of Chinese workers often up to a quarter of the total employed on a given project.
However, in the s, Chinese policymakers advocated a shift away from aid to more businesslike arrangements that would expand the amount of finance available, enabling Chinese firms to get more business while generating economic and social returns for the African government borrowers. Premier Li Peng toured six countries in Africa in , explaining that China s policy has moved from aid donation to economic cooperation for mutual benefit.
China s new policy was reflected in the establishment of the Export-Import Bank of China in A year later, the so-called China Eximbank made one of its first new African loans to Sudan to finance a Sino-Sudanese joint venture for oil exploration. In , finance from China began to accelerate sharply.
China Eximbank introduced its new export buyer s credit for government loans, and China Development Bank began financing projects in Africa for the first time. While export buyer s credit can be preferential at low, fixed interest rates , China Eximbank says the bulk of its export buyer s credit is offered either at a fixed interest rate based on the OECD s monthly commercial interest reference rate CIRR or a floating rate based on the London interbank offered rate LIBOR plus a margin. China Development Bank lends solely at commercial rates. Both banks offer the kind of resource-secured credits similar to the package negotiated between Japan and China.
Angola was a visible early case. But donors stayed away, hoping to force the government to become more transparent about its oil revenues. For example, the Angolans had been securing billions of dollars in oil-backed loans from private bank consortia, including Standard Chartered, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and others.
Revenues from oil exports were deposited in an offshore escrow account, and the banks extracted their loan payments. This cash went directly to the government and its state-owned oil company, Sonangol, which was not transparent about how the money was used. Oil-Backed Loans to Angola In a controversial move, China Eximbank offered its own oil-backed line of credit to Angola in Modeled after the long-ago Japanese package loan to China, the Chinese loan required the Angolans to use the funds for infrastructure or for imports of Chinese machinery and equipment.
The Chinese benefited as Chinese companies carried out the bulk of the work, although the terms mandated that 30 percent be subcontracted to Angolan firms. The risk of embezzlement was sharply reduced because cash from the loan and from the oil exports that secured it never entered Angola. Chinese banks have gone on to make other substantial loans across Africa. Research by the China Africa Research Initiative at SAIS has identified 10 African countries where infrastructure projects have been financed by China Development Bank or China Eximbank using future commodity exports of not only oil but also copper, cocoa and sesame seeds to secure loans.
These package loans have downsides. Meant to lower risks, they are usually used in countries without a good history of managing their borrowing, making debt sustainability an issue. The methodology is effective against embezzlement but not against other forms of corruption such as collusive bidding or kickbacks. There is much less Chinese oversight of the projects selected by the borrowing government than would be the case in a World Bank arrangement, for example.
Projects still need to be carefully appraised and their development, social and environmental impact evaluated. Implementation should be supervised by a third-party expert, and provision made for maintenance. However, this instrument of project finance also has clear benefits. Cash from the export of natural resources is channeled directly into development infrastructure.
Citizens in Angola and other places can see their cities rebuilt or enjoy roads and electricity without having to wait for governance to improve. The loans provide a potential agency of restraint in resource-rich countries with weak institutions. And as a leader in South-South diplomacy, Brazil is a strong voice for all emerging-market economies. That appeared to be true throughout much of its history. In , however, under the leadership of finance minister and soon-to-be President Fernando Henrique Cardoso who served from to , the Brazilian economy defeated hyperinflation and, with a series of structural reforms, finally stabilized.
Lula s election coincided with the extraordinary expansion of the world economy that began in the early years of the 21st century. Brazil in particular benefited from the high demand for its raw materials and commodities trade deficits soon became booming surpluses, allowing the country to retire much of its debt. Brazil quickly became an attractive investment opportunity for foreign capital. This imaginative concept was introduced to the world in by New York investment bank Goldman Sachs. Clearly, the objective for Goldman Sachs was to steer newly available capital into instruments that increasingly showcased the countries.
At first, the idea was taken as a clever gimmick in the marketplace, but by it became clear that the decade was going to be very different from past decades. Security Council is a long-standing goal of both Brazil and India. Startlingly, the Goldman analysts asserted that, of the G-6 countries, only the United States and Japan might remain among the six largest economies in dollar terms in By , however, the bloom was off the rose. Each of the BRICS economies confronted difficult structural challenges, and whether the group will be able to effectively deal with related policy issues remains to be seen.
Nonetheless, the BRIC concept coined in captured the attention of the markets, analysts, academics and public officials for more than a decade. While it was recognized that the four and now five countries were very different, they shared sizable populations and perceived economic growth potential. In the meantime, the belief that the world economy was going through important changes that would open space for the new emerging-market economies gained traction.
He also set forth the proposition that the pending changes in the world economy would require a substantial restructuring of the voting rights in the Bretton Woods multilateral institutions more specifically, that voting rights would need to be redistributed in favor of the BRICs. That, of course, implied a shift of power from the traditional industrial countries in Europe, which had been important players in the s but were now a mere shadow of their importance after World War II.
The BRICs have also called for a substantial reform of the United Nations Security Council to allow increased representation for the emerging-market nations. Brazil broke ranks with India, in particular, and attempted to broker a compromise. But the effort failed, and the Doha Round disappeared. As climate change became an increasingly contentious public policy issue, the BRICs argued they would not allow the North developed countries to categorize the South developing countries as the culprit when the evidence was clear that the North was as guilty as the South of pollution and contamination.
Suddenly, it became clear that South-South diplomacy had to be taken seriously. Perhaps the most dramatic example of the rise of the BRICs was during the world financial crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in As panic spread throughout the world economy, the industrial countries decided to resuscitate the Group of 20 G , composed of the finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
Bush administration in consultation with the other industrial countries convened the G in Washington, D. The purpose of the meeting, as stated by Brazil s finance minister, Guido Mantega, was to forcefully argue that the Bretton Woods veto power over global economic and financial issues needed to be adjusted in favor of the emerging-market countries. What are the mechanisms for consultation and dialogue among the BRIC countries, and what is their organizational format?
What is the economic basis and outlook for BRIC countries in light of the crises in the world financial-economic system? In subsequent G summits, Brazil s Lula was front and center, urging the emerging-market countries to support the argument that space needed to be created for them. In one meeting with the prime minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown, Lula forcefully stated that this crisis was fostered and boosted by irrational behavior of some people that are white, blue-eyed.
Before the crisis, they looked like they knew everything about economics, and they have demonstrated that they know nothing about economics. Lula was fond of saying that Brazil, as a major emerging-market economy, was the last to enter the crisis and the first to emerge. Because the Brazilian banking system was sounder and more transparent than its counterparts in the United States and Europe, according to Lula. A Seat on the U. Security Council? Brazil has been active in a number of regional efforts to unify the Latin American countries to act in consort with their neighbors in international negotiations.
It has been actively pursuing a free-trade agreement with the European Union. Brazil was designated a strategic partner of the European Union at an EU- Brazil Summit in Lisbon in July At a follow-up encounter in , then- President Nicolas Sarkozy of France commented that no one could imagine resolving problems today without involving China, India and, of course, Brazil.
He added, to the delight of his hosts, that we need Brazil as a permanent member of the Security Council. A seat on the U. Security Council is a long-standing goal of both Brazil and India, and it remains a sore point in the U. To the dismay of the American government, China is now the major trade partner of Brazil. Then-President Jiang Zemin of China, in a visit to South America in , announced a strategic partnership between the two countries, a rare diplomatic decision by the Chinese government, and Brazil was the first country in the region to receive that designation from Beijing.
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For the last 15 years, Brazil has received a series of Chinese visitors, ranging from the president and the prime minister to senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party and the armed forces leadership. While Brazil and the other BRICS countries are experiencing a series of challenging economic and financial policy issues at the moment, there is long-term confidence that, with their underlying attractions mineral and commodity resources, large consumer markets and so forth they will recover and prosper.
In particular, Brazil, a country of million people with a diversified economy that has experienced an important reduction in poverty and inequality in recent years, is an attractive place to invest all of the Fortune countries do business in the country. Brazil continues to be seen by its fellow BRICS partners as an important spokesman for the South-South reform agenda under discussion for the last decade. Following needed structural reforms in the economy, there is confidence that Brazil will once again take the lead in urging global reforms to provide a greater voice for the emerging-market economies.
Krueger India for Once seen as unstoppable, India s economy is in trouble. With high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, poor infrastructure and its currency depreciated, can the country regain its momentum to become a global economic power? Tough but critical policy choices lie ahead. This book is a revised and updated version of Revolution from Above: Thedemise of the Soviet system, published in At the time we finished themanuscript for that book, in early , only four years had passed sincethe demise of the Soviet Union and the appearance of a separate Russianstate.
During the ten years since that time, post-Soviet Russia has con-tinued to develop in ways that have surprised and disappointed theoriginal advocates of transition from state socialism to capitalism. Wethought that a revised and updated version of our book was in order. The current work, under the new title Russias Path from Gorbachev toPutin: The demise of the Soviet system and the new Russia, adds an examin-ation of the significant social, economic, and political developmentsin post-Soviet Russia since These developments include the rise of asmall group of super-rich and powerful oligarchs, the continuing pre-valence of crime and corruption, the severe problems of Russias economyover the past decade, and the steady drift toward authoritarian govern-ment.
While these developments have been described in the mass mediaand in many books, our aim is to interpret and explain the underlyingreasons for them. We find that the highly flawed shock therapy strategy adopted in, intended to bring about a transition from state socialism to capit-alism, bears the major responsibility for the continuing problems ofRussias social, economic, and political development. The tenacious pur-suit of that transition strategy, which today is commonly referred to as theneoliberal or Washington Consensus approach, has, in our view, con-demned Russia to continuing social and economic decline, as well asdashed the democratic hopes raised during the Gorbachev era at the endof the Soviet period.
In our previous book on this topic, Revolution from Above, we presentedan interpretation of the demise of the Soviet system that viewed thisepochal event as an overthrow of the old system by its own ruling elite. Now, ten years later, we believe that interpretation has stood the test oftime, at least to date.
While it was a somewhat heretical thesis in , inthe succeeding years it has become more widely accepted. Our new analysis of the past decade of Russian development is foundin part IV of this work, in Chapters A revised version of what had been thefinal Chapter 12 of the original book, on the lessons for the future ofsocialism from the demise of the Soviet system, is found at the end of thiswork as Chapter 15 in the new Part V. One of the authors of this work, David Kotz, is an economics professor atthe University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the other, Fred Weir, is ajournalist based in Moscow.
In the late s, from our separate vantagepoints, we both observed with interest the economic and political reformstaking place in the Soviet Union. At that time it appeared that MikhailGorbachevs policy of perestroika might be giving birth to the worldsfirst democratic socialist system.
Perhaps, buried beneath the SovietUnions repressive state and rigidly centralized economy, some genuinesocialist remnants might have survived from the ideas that had originallyinspired the Russian Revolution. It seemed possible that Gorbachevsreforms would succeed in liberating what was good in the Soviet pastwhile expunging the unsavory aspects of the Soviet system. Events in the former Soviet Union did not follow such a course.
Gorbachevs attempt to reform the Soviet system instead led to its dis-integration. By the end of , some six years after Gorbachevs rise topower, the Soviet state was dissolved, replaced by fifteen newly sovereignnation-states, and an effort to build capitalism superseded Gorbachevsproject of reforming and democratizing Soviet socialism. This was aremarkable turn of events, which almost no one had predicted. The authors of this book first met in Moscow in the summer of Wediscussed the Soviet demise unfolding around us. The Western mediawere filled with stories of a popular assault from below toppling theSoviet system, as its inevitable economic collapse suddenly left the Sovietelite unable any longer to protect and save the system.
However, this didnot accord with what we saw. We looked at the process of the Sovietdemise from the perspective of our particular intellectual training andexperience, and we found the received explanations to be implausible andinconsistent with the evidence. David Kotz is an economist who specializes in the process of insti-tutional change in economic history, in the former Soviet Union and else-where. This specialty requires knowledge of the factors that promoteeconomic growth and those that retard it, of the interplay of technologicaldevelopment and class interest, of the roles of economics and politics in.
He had spent years studying the factors that make forcontinuity in socioeconomic systems and those that produce either incre-mental or radical change. As Kotz observed the Soviet demise in , thedifficulties of the economy of the USSR, serious though they were, did notseem to provide a satisfactory explanation for the rapid unravelling of theSoviet system.
Other forces were at work besides economic decline.