External Expansion Limited

Friday, 30 May 2014


In this article we refer to the exhibit at the recent Seventh Astana Economic Forum in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD) in which he spoke of the creation of a transformative agenda and were mentioned data that help us understand the latent inequality in the world economy.
At the Seventh Astana Economic Forum, Dr. Kituyi brought together eminent speakers, including former Prime Minister of Italy and the tenth president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, and Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Prize-Winning in Economics among others, have reflected on UNCTAD´s fiftieth anniversary of and its continuing goal of achieving prosperity for all.

Noting the development framework for after 2015 are required a transformative agenda that addresses the need for development that will be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and inclusive. The agenda needs to create conditions to enable more countries achieve the kind of virtuous circles of productive investment, rising incomes, poverty reduction and expanding markets that bring about lasting economic and social transformation. The participants echoed Dr. Kituyi were calling for the return of development to the centre of multilateralism and consequently for a bold and transformative agenda for the success of the Millennium Development Goals which expire next year.

A key theme that emerged from the panel discussion was the need for justice and for an inclusive global economic system to enable the full realization of human potential. The panelists noted that business as usual is not an option and that transformation from traditional to modern activities is necessary, changing ways of thinking and the econtemporary political culture, particularly by encouraging the context of fostring societies that accept greater equity and justice in the economic system through employment generation and in particular in the social sectors. In addition, panelists discussed the importance of systemic reforms and strengthen the capacity of States to play an active and supportive role in the economy creating a climate conducive for growth and development.

Dr. Kituyi exposure initially was focused to present the stage on which should work from now remembering that when in 1964 gathered in Geneva to create UNCTAD was asked for a better and more effective system of international economic co-operation where the division of the world in areas of poverty and plenty could be banished and prosperity achieved by all. So then, the newly independent countries tried to take control of their own development pathsways believing that trade represented a promising means to ensure developing countries participate in the benefits of global trade. However, nothing is further from reality, because trade perpetuated with the help of the capitalist system, a skewed and biased international division of labor where developing countries based on exports of commodities to their former colonial masters, and in turn, imported high-value-added manufactured goods from them; recognized the director of UNCTAD.

While UNCTAD, through its director, hide behind that has strived to create a world economy that served the interests of all through its analytical research, innovative policy proposals, inter-governmental negotiations, consensus-building and technical cooperation; is very little they have achieved in these 50 years having featured at this meeting some areas in which their ideas have made a difference and that we put into question.

The first one that director Kiyuvi mentioned was the creation of the Generalized System of Preferences, which helped launch many of today´s industrialized developing economies, where for us internally had an unequal distribution of income concentrated wealth in a few interests even in most cases, are not native to the countries involved. Second, it highlighted the creation of the Least Developed Countries category, which were recognized the special needs of small and vulnerable economies, but to our knowledge little slow and has been done for them over the years. Third, it highlighted the establishment of targets for official development assistance, which resulted into a commintment within the Millennium Development Goals and supported the scaling up of aids flows, but still to be seen the contribution of all this. Fourth and finally, it highlighted the support of Paris Club debt renegotiations and the realization of sustainable debt mechanisms, which we believe has been to support the so-called vulture funds to subdue countries like Argentina steadily in time to pay usurious interest, because them can do so, for the export of natural and agricultural resources.

Finally, he acknowledged that many of the broader concerns of developing countries that animated discussions in 1964 are still present today, among which it highlighted the continuing poverty; growing inequality within and across countries; the danger of financial crises and volatility; the fact a number of least developed countries has remained at the margins of the world economy landlocked developing countries and small-island states; and finally, the threats posed by climate change, food insecurity and conflict.

For our part we hope that after 50 years and will now finally get their wish in turning their purposes an unquestionable reality, obviously different way than has been done so far.

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Until the next article...

Leonardo Dufau

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