Tag: development

Industrial policies? Of course!

Developing countries wanting to pursue industrial policy were severely reprimanded by advocates of the ‘neoliberal’ Washington Consensus. Now, it is being deployed as a weapon in the new Cold War.

Industrial Policy, East or West, for Development or War? | Inter Press Service (ipsnews.net)

More Poverty, more Inequality…

Look at the charts of the World Bank: 2023 was noty positive at all. More poverty, more inequality, ‘development work more complicated’…

2023 in Nine Charts: A Growing Inequality (worldbank.org)

Middle Income Country Trap?

In recent decades, failure to sustain economic progress has been blamed on a supposed middle-income country (MIC) trap. Such blaming obscures as much as it supposedly explains.

Article by Jomo Kwame Sundaram:

Inequality, Social Protection and the Right to Development

The Human Rights Council of the UN just published the Report of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development.

An interesting document with new arguments for defending and promoting not only ‘social protection’ but a new perspective on ‘development’.

Inequality, social protection and the right to development” (A/HRC/54/83)

The World Bank’s ‘Evolution Roadmap’

A civil society briefing – published in response to the World Bank’s public consultation on the ‘Evolution Roadmap’ and endorsed by 74 organisations and indidivuals (see pp. 9-10) – calls for a World
Bank Group roadmap that prioritises people, participation and the planet over profit and economic
growth. It provides an alternative analysis of the current ‘crisis of development’ which the Evolution
Roadmap seeks to respond to; presents key evidence on the damaging effects of the ´Cascade´
approach to date; and proposes an alternative pathway towards a more equitable and sustainable
World Bank Group ‘evolution’, which would reverse the flow of the Cascade, putting public interest –
including grassroots voices, and economic, social, women’s, girls’ and human rights – at the centre
of the public development paradigm for the 21st century, rather than the profits of corporations and
private finance

Read the briefing

Foreign Aid Was Supposed To Help Nations In Need but Has Instead Enriched Western Contractors

This piece is well-developed, with an essential historical context going back many decades that is essential to understanding how we got here and is often obscured in contemporary accounts. The history here is particular to USAID, but the patterns and practices described apply to the entire OECD global aid complex, including Canada.


It is time to give indebted countries a new start

We may disagree with some arguments in this OECD/Development matters article, but yes, the debt problem needs an urgent solution! And poor countries do indeed need a new start!

Energy Transition or Development? Do developing Countries need to Choose?

Countries with low access to energy and minimal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions are being asked to prioritise the low-carbon transition over economic growth.

Is this fair? Will the benefits of switching to net-zero outweigh the costs?

From an OECD Conference – read the article

Neoliberal Reforms Strengthening Monopoly Power and Abuses

Over the last four decades, growing concentration of market power in the hands of oligopolies, if not monopolies, has been greatly enabled by ostensibly neo-liberal reforms, worsening wealth concentration and gross inequalities in the world.

The ‘counter-revolution’ against Keynesian and development economics four decades ago, which inspired the Washington Consensus, claimed to promote economic liberalization, including market competition, but strengthening property rights entitlements, especially for intellectual property, has been far more important.

Such oligopolistic and monopolistic trends have recently accelerated in much of the world, while already feeble anti-trust efforts have lagged far behind. Over a century after US President Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-trust initiatives, with the neoliberal rhetoric of recent decades, many all over the world still have great expectations of similar US reform initiatives.

(Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Anis Chowdhury)
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Developing Countries Facing a Conundrum

April was a month for some international institutions to publish data and forecasts to revise or confirm their economic projections made at the beginning of the year. So far, it has been bad news after bad news. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly cut its projections for world gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2019. The World Bank and IMF revealed further worsened accumulation of public and private debt. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported declining official development assistance (ODA). The World Trade Organization (WTO) worried about decelerating international trade and intensified trade tension. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) highlighted consecutive drops of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. When so many dark clouds are gathering together at the same time, one can only say that the world economic prospects for 2019 are indeed gloomy. A closer examination of the performance of developing countries in these datasets would clearly show the economic conundrum that developing countries are facing.

Read the Policy Brief of the South Centre