Investing more on roads, bridges and schools is an essential part of President Obama's American Jobs Act. If this is important in the current U.S. context, the role of both infrastructure and education in job creation is even more fundamental in developing countries, where there's much more to be done than in the U.S. and other advanced economies.
Last week, world leaders gathered in Cannes, France to discuss the future of the global economy. Key on the agenda were issues surrounding the European sovereign debt crisis, new capital requirements for banks, commodity and food price volatility, and climate change.
Turmoil is not solely circumscribed to Wall Street and stock markets around the world. Volatility is also affecting global food prices, and with them, millions of people in developing countries. So, just as the world marks the birth of the 7 billionth baby this week, his or her family might be struggling to put food on the table.
Market volatility, fears of a double-dip, lack of investor confidence and social demonstrations from Wall Street to Main Streets around the world are just some of the headlines we face today.
In today’s interconnected world economy, efficient, reliable and cost-effective supply chains have become necessities in global trade. Trading in a timely manner with minimal transaction costs allows a country to expand to overseas markets and improve its overall economic competitiveness.
As the 2008-9 financial crisis spread from its epicenter in the United States to the rest of the world, policy makers found themselves in uncharted waters. The effects of the global contraction were so severe that the world experienced the largest drop in global trade volumes since World War II, with world trade of goods falling by 23 percent in 2009.
The crisis around jobs is particularly acute this time not just because 205 million people worldwide are officially unemployed, nor because the quality of available jobs are frequently perceived to be declining, especially the routine middle-grade white-collar jobs workers in the developed countries, nor is it just because skilled and talented people who are in short supply earn multiples of the average salary. The problem in today’s post-crisis world is that policymakers and practitioners around the world are no longer sure how to create jobs, and just as and perhaps even more important, how to
Europe and Asia provide two different models of integration and growth. The former relied on political willpower to create a unified common market; the latter based its integration on a buildup of regional trade, investments, and production networks—eschewing a formal link-up in political or monetary terms.
From Singapore to Shenzhen, Special Economic Zones—SEZs for short—have helped underpin the rapid export-oriented growth of East Asia. In an effort to replicate these sleepy-fishing-village-turn-thriving-metropolis success stories, many countries in the developing world have created economic zones of their own—and their growth has been dramatic.
Debt and credit ratings keep making headlines. But for a moment, forget about their impact in the U.S. and Europe, where an abundant set of economic data exists both for international investors and bondholders. Instead, think of what would happen if you lived in one of the 58 developing countries that remain unrated by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch, the three international credit rating agencies.