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Elections, Elections & Elections

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Targeted within the next 100 days are some 500 million voters around the world;

Thirty plus nations are going to elect leaders and later USA in 2020. Measured only by the final count of votes, a successful election winning should also deliver economic performance measured only by the final count of real good quality jobs and not some hologramic mumbo jumbo statistics. It’s time for great jobs, quality jobs and well paying jobs. The world’s most dramatically engaging, expensive and time consuming election of USA is now unfolding; while the world awaits a mega global financial collapse also arrives at the precipice.

It makes no difference when will the next global meltdown starts as the economic damage is now visible from space, it makes no difference why is this happening because most mighty nations have already tried hard to fix it to the best of their ability and lastly, it makes no difference whatsoever to what will happen afterwards as nothing happened last time; no crime, no penalty, outside those exceptional who jumped out of high-rise windows some one billion mostly from the middle and bottom got badly crushed. This time the numbers may be double. Time will tell.

It’s popcorn time.

What will make the difference is the brand new realization that the global-age skills of the working citizenry of the world have seriously slipped away in acquiring special advancements to read his global-age better, faster and with more productivity zest. All over the world, today, deemed useless are the accumulated educational trainings during the last few decades and very soon smart robots will replace the most knowledge acquired within the last five years. It’s about time to ask tough questions about the future usability of our education and real productivity value of trainings; demanded are deeper studies on applying lifelong learning; real competencies for real global-age, continuous advancements of human development, emotional intelligence and mental endurance all to deal with critical thinking absolutely necessary on complex enterprise modeling with global implications.  To acquire varying level of mastery, these new skills are not that difficult at all, after all mankind is always superior over robots but what is extremely difficult is the way overly sensationalized narrative articulated by stock markets responding to every major technological advances placing too much emphasis on IT and coding creating general fears amongst masses of workers around the globe. The new global age demands brand new thinking capable to be able to shed the old skin and come out new and shiny, once again.

Study the global tsunami of computer age and advancements of micro-desktop-computers in offices around the world in 80s and how things changed from A-Z. Repeated is the same style cycle all over here. Study the subject deeply, compare the last few cycles when global societies transformed for Print Society to Radio Societies, to TV, to Computer to Cyber etc… the patterns are very similar just the dramatic changes are much faster.  Transitions took 20-30 years, now 2-3 years. Virtual reality and block-chain deployment is far more massive than mobile phone and this will happen within next 1000 days. The officeless office revolution will shrink and collapse old glory of office towers around the world in next few years. Study these major changes and develop your own vision, apply all your own current skills and exercise your inner strengths, study very deeply, while acquiring expertise and becoming a ‘doer’ ‘thinker’ ‘innovator’ and ‘collaborator’ and let other experts handle the technology.

It’s time to vote, but first vote yourself in as if you already are in the shoes of the leader but fix your global age skills or simply become a compulsive clicker on social media or a slave to robots. Only the skilled ones will drive the future agenda. Currently, trying very hard, almost all over the world, the political leaderships based on their capabilities, available timelines and mostly caught in some self-inflicted rotten system but once again asking them to fix today’s grassroots prosperity problems is like asking the same gang of people who brought the grand-chaos with no idea on the next direction to lead is a serious judgment call. 

While, you are the only one but imagine like a potential candidate worthy of a vote, you are the only leader of your own path and you are the only undisputed champion of your own skills sets, so move on and vote for a revolutionary change but start improving your skills. You will start to notice the emergence of new thinking, others will come forward and join your cause, and a level of new understanding will emerge with solutions at times way better and above political shenanigans. Almost, each and every single voter around the world has some access to a trillion dollar worth of free technology available via internet plus entire study of our civilization on finger tips…learn to optimize and humanize progress but stay away from fakery. Time manage your global-age skills acquisition charts.

Historically, this is how Mankind came out of the caves

Skilled citizenry is the biggest hidden asset of the nation, ignored last few decades in the dust of globalization, now a critical issue these elections. The other options for the world are to simply wait for an unfathomable chaos while listening to the restless citizenry. If it’s time to vote, it’s also time for asking the most difficult questions. For national leadership, creation of intelligent debates on such complexity is critical while keeping it under the rugs the silence becomes the proof of incompetency.

In a hyper-accelerated supercharged world, understanding and measuring incompetency of working masses is a brand new art; identification of this critical void with right contents to fix the crisis of exportability performance is a new science, the mobilization of working-citizenry to regain new skills is new deployment strategy and bold national debates to openly face these challenges is new global-age example of successful political leadership.

This reality is also about those crossroads; where universities of the world failed the students, ask billion indebted students, this is where government bureaucracies failed the citizenry, ask billions of SME taxpayers, and this is where conflict-centric agenda stripped naked the global populace of any intelligent dialogue and this is also where divisive politics and populist thinking are finding fertile grounds. A change to internally uplift the working citizenry is the smart call. Programs to national mobilization of entrepreneurialism are the solution.

European Union is tabling a 100 Billion dollar program to uplift its high potential enterprises also a great example of becoming internally focused and national mobilization of entrepreneurialism. Is the new world getting ready for new thinking, where Inversion Economy; grassroots transformation becomes a top priority over Projectile Economy where Rocketry and Mars Missions drive the agenda. Trade-wars are proof of poor quality exportability, poor skills and poor policies, but skills-wars are about creating highly skilled citizenry creating superior edge of exportability and blossoming local grassroots prosperity. Nations should avoid blaming, screaming and declaring trade-wars on other countries and rather first look inside and declare internal skills-wars on their own working-citizenry to improve their performance and capability to stand up to global age trading challenges. In global search for collaborative synthesizim, Expothon Worldwide is seeking alliances to downstream high quality debates and discussion with top leadership within a nation and inviting trade groups, trade associations, Chambers and experts in various business growth fields to join the platform already aligned with this global exportability driven metamorphosis. The recent move last month by Worldbank to adopt this very format with their launch of a global project Econothon is also a very good step forward. Expect some major and positive events in this arena to uplift this new global thinking forward.

Vote you must;

Remember as when you vote, you have already placed yourself first in line of acquiring improved skills to help your nation.  Earn a globally respectable position for your nation expressed by your competitive skills become smart on exportability, trade globally.  There is no escape. The clouds are gathering. Already consumed and wasted with fakery the decades long grace periods allowed are all but over and now with limited time available so prepare rapidly, mobilize and deploy.

The Next 100 Days:
How large are these national/global issues?
How will the nation/world survive?
Where are the bright new ideas?
What will the voters do?
What will the USA voters and leadership learn from the outside world?
Firstly, they all must vote
Secondly, debate and engage political leadership, because they all need help.

Here are the key elections in 2019 alone; Canada, Tunisia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Guinea, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Uzbekistan, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Swiss, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Romania, Croatia, Haiti, Dominican Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Israel, Oman, New Zealand, UAE and USA in 2020.

With so much time and resources wasted in fakery, time to uplift working citizenry within a nation is now becoming almost like a critical salvage operation. Restless citizenry needs job security with global-age skills to bring a new ride of confidence but must not be confused with old style traditional education and training. Clouds of technology will not rain local grassroots prosperity but watch slow death, national mobilization of small and midsize economy with create local jobs and harmony, the dust of globalization is a proof and inversion towards grassroots economy is a must.

Try it in your own local regions…

Naseem Javed is a corporate philosopher, Chairman of Expothon Worldwide; a Canadian Think tank focused on National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism Protocols on Platform Economy and exportability solutions now gaining global attention. His latest book; Alpha Dreamers; the five billions connected who will change the world.

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Economy

Covid-19 and food crisis

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COVID-19 has hit at a time when food crisis and malnutrition are on the rise. According to the most recent UN projections, the pandemic-induced economic slump would cause as many as 132 million people to be hungry. This would be in addition to the 690 million people going hungry now. At the same time, 135 million people suffer from acute food insecurity and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Although the pandemic’s transmission has slowed in certain countries and cases have decreased, COVID-19 has resurfaced or is spreading rapidly in others. This is still a global issue that needs a worldwide solution.

This epidemic threatens both lives and livelihoods. COVID-19 has had a wide-ranging and disruptive influence on the agriculture system. We fear a worldwide food crisis unless we act quickly, which may have long-term consequences for hundreds of millions of children and adults. This is mostly due to a lack of food availability — as wages decline, remittances decline, and in certain cases, food prices rise. Food insecurity is increasingly becoming a food production concern in nations that already have high levels of acute food insecurity.

Agriculture continues to serve a reliable and major part in world economy and stability, and it remains the primary source of food, income, and work for rural communities, even in the face of a pandemic. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural system and sector has been wide-ranging, causing unprecedented uncertainty in global food supply chains, including potential bottlenecks in labor markets, input industries, agriculture production, food processing, transportation and logistics, as well as shifts in demand for food and food services.

The COVID-19 epidemic not only created a new sort of agricultural catastrophe, but it also occurred at a difficult moment for farmers. In most years during the last few years, global commodity output has exceeded demand, resulting in lower prices. In 2013, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) predicted decreased global agricultural output growth due to limited agricultural land development, rising production costs, expanding resource restrictions, and increasing environmental concerns.

An expanding global population remains the main driver of demand growth, although the consumption patterns and projected trends vary across countries in line with their level of income and development. Average per capita food availability is projected to reach about 3,000 kcal and 85 g of protein per day by 2029. Due to the ongoing transition in global diets towards higher consumption of animal products, fats and other foods, the share of staples in the food basket is projected to decline by 2029 for all income groups. In particular, consumers in middle-income countries are expected to use their additional income to shift their diets away from staples towards higher value products. Meanwhile, environmental and health concerns in high-income countries are expected to support a transition from animal-based protein towards alternative sources of protein.

When people suffer from hunger or chronic undernourishment, it means that they are unable to meet their food requirements – consume enough calories to lead a normal, active life – over a prolonged period. This has long-term implications for their future, and continues to present a setback to global efforts to reach Zero Hunger. When people experience crisis-level, acute food insecurity, it means they have limited access to food in the short-term due to sporadic, sudden crises that may put their lives and livelihoods at risk.

However, if people facing crisis-level acute food insecurity get the assistance they need, they will not join the ranks of the hungry, and their situation will not become chronic

It is clear: although globally there is enough food for everyone, too many people are still suffering from hunger. Our food systems are failing, and the pandemic is making things worse.

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How Bangladesh became Standout Star in South Asia Amidst Covid-19

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Bangladesh, the shining model of development in South Asia, becomes everyone’s economic darling amidst Covid-19. The per capita income of Bangladesh in the fiscal year 2020-21 is higher than that of many neighbouring countries including India and Pakistan. Recently, Bangladesh has agreed to lend $200 million to debt-ridden Sri Lanka to bail out through currency swap. Bangladesh, once one of the most vulnerable economies, has now substantiated itself as the most successful economy of South Asia. How Bangladesh successfully managed Covid-19 and became top performing economy of South Asia?

In March 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared their independence from richer and more powerful Pakistan. The country was born through war and famine. Shortly after the independence of Bangladesh, Henry Kissinger, then the U.S. national security advisor, derisively referred to the country as a “Basket Case of Misery.” But after fifty years, recently, Bangladesh’s Cabinet Secretary reported that per capita income has risen to $2,227. Pakistan’s per capita income, meanwhile, is $1,543. In 1971, Pakistan was 70% richer than Bangladesh; today, Bangladesh is 45% richer than Pakistan. Pakistani economist Abid Hasan, former World Bank Adviser, stated that “If Pakistan continues its dismal performance, it is in the realm of possibility that we could be seeking aid from Bangladesh in 2030,”. On the other hand, India, the economic superpower of South Asia, is also lagging behind Bangladesh in terms of per capita income worth of $1,947. This also elucidates that the economic decisions of Bangladesh are better than that of any other South Asian countries.

Bangladesh’s economic growth leans-on three pillars: exports competitiveness, social progress and fiscal prudence. Between 2011 and 2019, Bangladesh’s exports grew at 8.6% every year, compared to the world average of 0.4%. This godsend is substantially due to the country’s hard-hearted focus on products, such as apparel, in which it possesses a comparative advantage.

The variegated investment plans pursued by the Bangladesh government contributes to the escalation of the country’s per capita income. The government has attracted investments in education, health, connectivity and infrastructure both from home and abroad. As a long-term implication, investing in these sectors helped Bangladesh to facilitate space for businesses and created skilled manpower to run them swiftly. Meanwhile, the share of Bangladeshi women in the labor force has consistently grown, unlike in India and Pakistan, where it has decreased. And Bangladesh has maintained a public debt-to-GDP ratio between 30% and 40%. India and Pakistan will both emerge from the pandemic with public debt close to 90% of GDP.

Bangladesh’s economy and industry management strategy during Covid-19 is also worth mentioning here since the country till now has successfully protected its economy from impact of pandemic. At the outset of pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions hampered the country’s overall productivity for a while. To tackle the pandemic effect, Bangladesh introduced improvised monetary policy and fiscal stimuli to bring them under the safety net which lifted the situation from worsening. Government introduced stimulus package which is equivalent to 4.3 percent of total GDP and covers all necessary sectors such as industry, SMEs and agriculture. These packages are not only a one-time deal, new packages are also being announced in course of time. For instance, in January 2021, government announced two new packages for small and medium entrepreneurs and grass roots populations. Apart from economic interventions, the government also chose the path of targeted interventions. The government, after first wave, abandoned widespread lockdown and adopted the policy of targeted intervention which is found to be effective as it allows socio-economic activities to carry on under certain protocols and helps the industries to fight back against the pandemic effect.

Another pivotal key to success was the management of migrant labor force and keeping the domestic production active amidst the pandemic. According to KNOMAD report, amidst the Covid-19, Bangladesh’s remittance grew by 18.4 percent crossing 21 billion per annum inflow where many remittance dependent countries experienced negative growth rate. Because of the massive inflow of remittance, the Forex reserve of Bangladesh reached at 45.1 billion US dollar.

Bangladesh’s success in managing COVID19 and its economy has been reflected in a recent report “Bangladesh Development Update- Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to strengthen Competitiveness,” published by World Bank. Bangladesh’s economy is showing nascent signs of recovery backed by a rebound in exports, strong remittance inflows, and the ongoing vaccination program. Through financial assistance to Sri Lanka and Covid relief aid to India, Bangladesh is showcasing its rise as an emerging superpower in South Asia. That is why Mihir Sharma, Director of Centre for Economy and Growth Programme at the Observer Research Foundation, wrote in an article at Bloomberg that, “Today, the country’s 160 million-plus people, packed into a fertile delta that’s more densely populated than the Vatican City, seem destined to be South Asia’s standout success”. Back in 2017, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report also predicted the same that Bangladesh will become the largest economy by 2030 and an economic powerhouse in South Asia. And this is how Bangladesh, a development paragon, offers lessons for the other struggling countries of world after 50 years of its independence.

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Build Back Better World: An Alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative?

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The G7 Summit is all the hype on the global diplomatic canvas. While the Biden-Putin talk is another awaited juncture of the Summit, the announcement of an initiative has wowed just as many whilst irked a few. The Group of Seven (G7) partners: the US, France, the UK, Canada, Italy, Japan, and Germany, launched a global infrastructure initiative to meet the colossal infrastructural needs of the low and middle-income countries. The Project – Build Back Better World (B3W) – is aimed to be a partnership between the most developed economies, namely the G7 members, to help narrow the estimated $40 trillion worth of infrastructure needed in the developing world. However, the project seems to be directed as a rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Amidst sharp criticism posed against the People’s Republic during the Summit, the B3W initiative appears to be an alternative multi-lateral funding program to the BRI. Yet, the developing world is the least of the concerns for the optimistic model challenging the Asian giant.

While the B3W claims to be a highly cohesive initiative, the BRI has expanded beyond comprehension and would be extremely difficult to dethrone, even when some of the most lucrative economies of the world are joining heads to compete over the largely untapped potential of the region. Now let’s be fair and contest that neither the G7 nor China intends the welfare of the region over profiteering. However, China enjoys a headstart. The BRI was unveiled back in 2013 by president Xi Jinping. The initiative was projected as a transcontinental long-term policy and investment program aimed to consolidate infrastructural development and gear economic integration of the developing countries falling along the route of the historic Silk Road. 

The highly sophisticated project is a long-envisioned dream of China’s Communist Party; operating on the premise of dominating the networks between the continents to establish unarguable sovereignty over the regional economic and policy decision-making. Referring to the official outline of the BRI issued by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the BRI drives to: “Promote the connectivity of Asian, European, and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road [Silk Road], set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks and realize diversified, independent, balanced, and sustainable development in these countries”. The excerpt clearly amplifies the thought process and the main agenda of the BRI. On the other hand, the B3W simply stands as a superfluous rival to an already outgrowing program.

Initially known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), the BRI has since expanded in the infrastructural niche of the region, primarily including emerging markets like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The standout feature of the BRI has been the mutually inclusive nature of the projects, that is, the BRI has been commandeering projects in many of the rival countries in the region yet the initiative manages to keep the projects running in parallel without any interference or impediment. With a loose hold on the governance whilst giving a free hand to the political and social realities of each specific country, the BRI program presents a perfect opportunity to jump the bandwagon and obtain funding for development projects without undergoing scrutiny and complications. With such attractive nature of the BRI, the program has significantly grown over the past decade, now hosting 71 countries as partners in the initiative. The BRI currently represents a third of the world’s GDP and approximately two-thirds of the world’s entire population.

Similar to BRI, the B3W aims to congregate cross-national and regional cooperation between the countries involved whilst facilitating the implementation of large-scale projects in the developing world. However, unlike China, the G7 has an array of problems that seem to override the overly optimistic assumption of B3W being the alternate stream to the BRI. 

One major contention in the B3W model is the facile assumption that all 7 democracies have an identical policy with respect to China and would therefore react similarly to China’s policies and actions. While the perspective matches the objective of BRI to promote intergovernmental cooperation, the G7 economies are much more polar than the democracies partnered with China. It is rather simplistic to assume that the US and Japan would have a similar stance towards China’s policies, especially when the US has been in a tense trade war with China recently while Japan enjoyed a healthy economic relation with Xi’s regime. It would be a bold statement to conclude that the US and the UK would be more cohesively adjoined towards the B3W relative to the China-Pakistan cooperation towards the BRI. Even when we disregard the years-long partnership between the Asian duo, the newfound initiative would demand more out of the US than the rest of the countries since each country is aware of the tense relations and the underlying desperation that resulted in the B3W program to shape its way in the Summit.

Moreover, the B3W is timed in an era when Europe has seen its history being botched over the past year. Post-Brexit, Europe is exactly the polar opposite of the unified policy-making glorified in the B3W initiate. The European Union (EU), despite US reservations, recently signed an investment deal with China. A symbolic gesture against the role played by former US President Donald J. Trump to bolster the UK’s exit from the Union. As London tumbles into peril, it would rather join hands with China as opposed to the democrat-regime of the US to prevent isolation in the region. Despite US opposition, Germany – Europe’s largest economy – continues to place China as a key market for its Automobile industry. Such a divided partnership holds no threat to the BRI, especially when the partners are highly dependent on China’s market and couldn’t afford an affront to China’s long envisaged initiative.

Even if we assume a unified plan of action shared between the G7 countries, the B3W would fall short in attracting the key developing countries of the region. The main targets of the initiative would naturally be the most promising economies of Asia, namely India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. However, the BRI has already encapsulated these countries: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC) being two of the core 6 developmental corridors of BRI. 

While both the participatory as well as the targeted democracies would be highly cautious in supporting the B3W over BRI, the newfound initiate lacks the basic tenets of a lasting project let alone standing rival to the likes of BRI. The B3W is aimed to be domestically funded through USAID, EXIM, and other similar programs. However, a project of such complex nature involves investments from diverse funding channels. The BRI, for example, tallies a total volume of roughly USD 4 to 8 trillion. However, the BRI is state-funded and therefore enjoys a variety of funding routes including BRI bond flotation. The B3W, however, simply falls short as up until recently, the large domestic firms and banks in the US have been pushed against by the Biden regime. An accurate example is the recent adjustment of the global corporate tax rate to a minimum of 15% to undercut the power of giants like Google and Amazon. Such strategies would make it impossible for the United States and its G7 counterparts to gain multiple channels of funding compared to the highly leveraged state-backed companies in China.

Furthermore, the B3W’s competitiveness dampens when conditionalities are brought into the picture. On paper, the B3W presents humane conditions including Human Rights preservation, Climate Change, Rule of Law, and Corruption prevention. In reality, however, the targeted countries are riddled with problems in all 4 categories. A straightforward question would be that why would the developing countries, already hard-pressed on funds, invest to improve on the 4 conditions posed by the B3W when they could easily continue to seek benefits from a no-strings-attached funding through BRI?

The B3W, despite being a highly lucrative and prosperous model, is idealistic if presented as a competition to the BRI. Simply because the G7, majorly the United States, elides the ground realities and averts its gaze from the labyrinth of complex relations shared with China. The only good that could be achieved is if the B3W manages to find its own unique identity in the region, separate from BRI in nature and not rivaling the scale of operation. While Biden has remained vocal to assuage the concerns regarding the B3W’s aim to target the trajectory of the BRI, the leaders have remained silent over the detailed operations of the model in the near future. For now, the B3W would await bipartisan approval in the United States as the remaining partners would develop their plan of action. Safe to say, for now, that the B3W won’t hold a candle to the BRI in the long-run but could create problems for the G7 members if it manages to irk China in the Short-run.

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