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Futurism Is Workless: Calling G20 2020

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Credit: Diego Rivera

Today, increasingly all our work of sorts, repeated laborious and mundane, now openly snatched across the world by robotic revolutions, supported by AI+AR+VR and block-chained programs. This is not a bad thing. This is a global uplift for our imagination creating extra thinking time. Humankind finally on way liberated from boredom of mundane and slavery of grind. Maybe we will produce entire new generations of deep thinkers to live in global harmony, diversity and tolerance, where gender fluid, smiley robots allowed hating each other and backstabbing considered sports.  

Not to destroy our real spiritual values of our miraculous creation; humans originally designed to invent advancements, as if designing a wheel, while our minds, designed to think of wisdom, as if discovering gravity, we cannot ignore the most valuable miracle of our known universe, a mind given to all us as a free gift. Obviously, our relentless pursuits of last decades failed; Tik-Tok damaged and Social Media controlled global populace awaits for new wisdom

History is not just a series of rigid facts but also rather a mirror of our fluid understanding of our own present; the future is not some abstract dream but rather built out of our own carvings from the past. Whatever we did during our last few decades laying out the foundations of our present castles, we now enter, haunted as they are, but this is where we reside. Trick or Treat, candy or no candy, we have to chase the shadows with our trepidations.  

Futurism is workless, but indeed, such revolutionary transitions can only be measured as juggling monstrous calamities but blindfolded or playing with ‘time-machines’ without driving licensees. Equally, not easy is the erasing of the status symbols when century old habits of paper pushing offered security or out of box thinking only created butterflies in the stomach. The decades of enforced cubicalized-culture has hurt our mental productivity, stolen emotional contributions of innovative excellence. Such affairs demand special skills with stamina, wisdom to debate and courage to table action plans with transparency or surrender to defeat.

Acquisition of such skills of nouveau entrepreneurialism, not to be confused with common curriculum in need of elimination at universities of the world offering half-baked notions of entrepreneurial leadership as academic certification.  As a proof, to save themselves from the absence of contents and suffocation of illusionary mastery, they must hang in their hallways the portraits of the last 10,000 earth shattering entrepreneurs who unbounded from the Ivy, dropped out from moist edifices and changed the course of history. Research this deeply as denials will fail.

Today, we kneel in the middle of economic purgatory and pandemic hell…

Today, nation-by-nation, the intelligentsia of the recent past, fermented and marinated in their selective influences, now hiding in panic rooms in need of oxygen. The way out is not to face the pitchforks of restless citizenry but rather new understanding with a new definition of a workless future and how to open honest debates on how such advancement will unfold.

The harshness of the message, written on the wall, speaks volume. Some 200 nations are in the races to survive. Some 10,000 cities are busy figuring out their future. The futurism demands new thinking and new deployments. The pandemic recovery is 100 moons long. The restless citizenry, workless seeking directions, a billion replaced by advanced technologies, a billion displaced by remote working, a billion misplaced as out of box entrepreneurs…time to face the music.

The forbidden hot-topics and major crossroads ahead…

Digital divide is Mental Divide; Mental-divide is number one blockade of digital-divide; such digital transitions feared for fast speed of performance to expose incompetency of workers. Furthermore, creating redundancy and fearing for creating accuracy of work exposing checks and balances to display hidden mismanagement, as such slowing down overall speed and performance and destroying economies. Despite worldwide access to almost no-cost technologies since the past decade, the majority of nations still buried under heaps of paper to avoid exposing proper columns indicating correct balances and totals. Only digitized nations will thrive in a digitized world.  National leaderships across the world must issue decree not to fire during transition for incompetency but rather guarantee them upskilling and reskilling options.

Micro-Power-Nations and Super-Power-Nations: As Super-Power-Nations lost their powers to fix the entire world, but now Micro-Power-Nations will try. Super power economies more aligned to attacking or destroying other economies as a prime necessity for their own survival. While new emerging Micro-Power-Nations are upcoming hungry performers with very special skills and are willing and able to help any small or super power without threatening their base of power. These 100 plus, Micro-Power-Nations may deploy highly selective, well-trained and extraordinary strengths and deliver surgical solutions to any mammoth nation and mutually rewarded. Such specialized capabilities will create universal borderless residencies, merit-based immigration, global friendly fair-trading, and unlimited human resources platforms for the new global age world. This is not about armies invading, here armies of entrepreneurs landing in collaborative synthesizing to create massive local prosperity. Such advancement will affect thousands of cities and nations and will towards faster advancements. Technology silently creates some 100 plus mighty micro power nations that with upskilling play a key role.

The Population-Rich vs. Knowledge-Rich Nations:  Pandemic recovery demands economic intellectualism to embrace futurism as global shifts from ‘knowledge-rich-nations’ to ‘population-rich-nations’ changing economic behavior across the world. Decades ago, large populations in any country considered an economic curse; sheer burden of visible poverty, scenes of survival and struggle of feeding millions of hungry mouths provided the blatant proof. Today considered a blessing; when citizens armed with mobile online transactional centers, digital humming and trading with billions of devices with trade activity are now new proofs of economic vibrancy for such overly populated nations.

Over centuries, the supremacy of knowledge housed in the West, Knowledge Rich Nations, primarily the developed economies now harshly tested as such outdated wealth of knowledge as if water gushing down from broken dams flooding faraway lands across the world. Knowledge-rich nations must rapidly re-learn how to compete and survive against highly agile and low-cost brilliance creating shine within some 100 emerging population-rich nations. The monopoly of knowledge has been shattered. Population-Rich-Nations must become platform economies; thrive on national mobilization of entrepreneurialism platforms of upskilling 

Referenced from “15 Monster Trends– by Naseem Javed” Dec 2014

National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism:  Struggling economies of the world are visibly showing the lack of upskilling of exporters and reskilling of manufacturers across their national small and midsize vertical business sectors.  Key Questions: Are there 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 high potential small medium business enterprises within a region or a nation? Are they doing USD $1-20 million in annual turnover and ready to further quadruple growth via exports? Is there a national agenda on upskilling, reskilling for fast track transformation to recovery and job creation? Are Associations and Chambers of Commerce receptive to such goals on creating excellence and exportability?

Key Realities: Unlimited, global markets can absorb unlimited innovative ideas, goods and services. Unlimited, SME Founders with entrepreneurial talent and energy are always anxious for global age expansion. Unlimited, well-designed, innovative ideas and global age skills can quadruple enterprise performance. Missing Links, lack of upskilling, reskilling and global-age thinking and execution styles are all strangling growth. Key Agenda for Discussions: How digitization of national entrepreneurialism on upskilling platforms saves economies and creates growth?  How simultaneous synchronization of upskilling of 100,000 SMEs and MFGs results in exports within a nation?  How is the Pentiana Project placing 25,000 SME MFG on digital platforms of upskilling and soon add another 100,000 SMEs?  How Chambers & Associations will take lead, creating a marathon on exportability, and inviting a national dialogue?

Understanding the Last Seven Societies: How 100 years of evolution has landed us here; during the Print Society in 1900, when the printed word was power, literacy was perquisite and only the privileged had access to knowledge. Why similar scenario 120 years later occurring today, futurism demands futuristic literacy.

“The Radio Society made its impact after a quarter century. It brought information freely available to the air and music to tap dance on assembly line floors. The ‘voice’ created radio-personalities with opinions and opinion leadership became noticeable. There were 5 other major societies.  TV Society brought live action dramas, and started the colorful consumerism. Telecom Society shorthanded distance and created standardization. The Computer Society created miniaturization and a sense of accuracy. The Cyber Society brought the world to the desk and started the diffusion between work and other lifestyles. We just left the Click Society, which brought the world into our pockets and seriously disrupted the traditional work model. “

Excerpted Source: Naseem Javed, Sunrise, Day One, Year 2000.

Expothon is also planning a “Special Senior Level Regular 3-Hour-Webinar-Workshop-Series” in 2021 to create detailed and pragmatic discussions with powerful and specific debates with pragmatic and immediately implementable solutions. The “National Mobilization of SME via Upskilling on Exports” calibrated for the selected 100 Chambers and 100 Special Trade Associations across the world along with gatekeepers of trade and commerce of selected countries.

Recommendations:

The Micro-Exports: With some 500 million SME in the world, a billion new big and small, young and old entrepreneurs on the march, G20 2020 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia had some great opportunities to table tactical combative blueprints to advance the challenges of local grassroots prosperity. As a smarter way to save economies, the emergence of such “Micro-Exports” thinking on global exportability, amongst most of the ‘micro-power-nations’ and ‘super-power-nations’ creates “productive occupationalism” and keeps their restless citizenry away from magnetizing towards populism.

The New Blocks: With global block emerging, The RCEP, ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’, now the world’s largest free trading block comes into action. Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand,  Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Upskilling exporters and reskilling manufacturers the new way of the future to create grassroots prosperity becomes a logical progression.

The Economic Recovery: The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico,  ​Republic o​f Korea,​Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, ​​​Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the EU the European Union. They have serious differences and critical pathways, but the commonalities of problem points to pandemic recovery and economic prosperity gaps to calm restless citizenry. Nevertheless, missing from the main action plans, the national mobilization of entrepreneurialism to create upskilling platforms to upscale small medium business bases will be a serious challenge. Optimizations of zoomerang culture of high quality virtual events are still at infancy… therefore, next generation of curated events will bring global economics more closely and display new thinking live across the world. 

The rest is easy.

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.

Economy

Economy Contradicts Democracy: Russian Markets Boom Amid Political Sabotage

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The political game plan laid by the Russian premier Vladimir Putin has proven effective for the past two decades. Apart from the systemic opposition, the core critics of the Kremlin are absent from the ballot. And while a competitive pretense is skilfully maintained, frontrunners like Alexei Navalny have either been incarcerated, exiled, or pushed against the metaphorical wall. All in all, United Russia is ahead in the parliamentary polls and almost certain to gain a veto-proof majority in State Duma – the Russian parliament. Surprisingly, however, the Russian economy seems unperturbed by the active political manipulation of the Kremlin. On the contrary, the Russian markets have already established their dominance in the developing world as Putin is all set to hold his reign indefinitely.

The Russian economy is forecasted to grow by 3.9% in 2021. The pandemic seems like a pained tale of history as the markets have strongly rebounded from the slump of 2020. The rising commodity prices – despite worrisome – have edged the productivity of the Russian raw material giants. The gains in ruble have gradually inched higher since January, while the current account surplus has grown by 3.9%. Clearly, the manufacturing mechanism of Moscow has turned more robust. Primarily because the industrial sector has felt little to no jitters of both domestic and international defiance. The aftermath of the arrest of Alexei Navalny wrapped up dramatically while the international community couldn’t muster any resistance beyond a handful of sanctions. The Putin regime managed to harness criticism and allegations while deftly sketching a blueprint to extend its dominance.

The ideal ‘No Uncertainty’ situation has worked wonders for the Russian Bourse and the bond market. The benchmark MOEX index (Moscow Exchange) has rallied by 23% in 2021 – the strongest performance in the emerging markets. Moreover, the fixed income premiums have dropped to record lows; Russian treasury bonds offering the best price-to-earning ratio in the emerging markets. The main reason behind such a bustling market response could be narrowed down to one factor: growing investor confidence.

According to Bloomberg’s data, the Russian Foreign Exchange reserves are at their record high of $621 billion. And while the government bonds’ returns hover at a mere 1.48%, the foreign ownership of treasury bonds has inflated above 20% for the second time this year. The investors are confident that a significant political shuffle is not on cards as Putin maintains a tight hold over Kremlin. Furthermore, investors do not perceive the United States as an active deterrent to Russia – at least in the near term. The notion was further exacerbated when the Biden administration unilaterally dropped sanctions from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. And while Europe and the US remain sympathetic with the Kremlin critics, large economies like Germany have clarified their economic position by striking lucrative deals amid political pressure. It is apparent that while Europe is conflicted after Brexit, even the US faces much more pressing issues in the guise of China and Afghanistan. Thus, no active international defiance has all but bolstered the Kremlin in its drive to gain foreign investments.

Another factor at work is the overly hawkish Russian Central Bank (RCB). To tame inflation – currency raging at an annual rate of 6.7% – the RCB hiked its policy rate to 6.75% from the all-time low of 4.25%. The RCB has raised its policy rate by a cumulative 250 basis points in four consecutive hikes since January which has all but attracted the investors to jump on the bandwagon. However, inflation is proving to be sturdy in the face of intermittent rate hikes. And while Russian productivity is enjoying a smooth run, failure of monetary policy tools could just as easily backfire.

While political dissent or international sanctions remain futile, inflation is the prime enemy which could detract the Russian economy. For years Russia has faced a sharp decline in living standards, and despite commendable fiscal management of the Kremlin, such a steep rise in prices is an omen of a financial crisis. Moreover, the unemployment rates have dropped to record low levels. However, the labor shortage is emerging as another facet that could plausibly ignite the wage-price spiral. Further exacerbating the threat of inflation are the $9.6 billion pre-election giveaways orchestrated by President Putin to garner more support for his United Russia party. Such a tremendous demand pressure could presumably neutralize the aggressive tightening of the monetary policy by the RCB. Thus, while President Putin sure is on a definitive path of immortality on the throne of the Kremlin, surging inflation could mark a return of uncertainty, chip away investors’ confidence: eventually putting a brake on the economic streak.

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Economy

Synchronicity in Economic Policy amid the Pandemic

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business-economy

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.Carl Jung

The Covid pandemic has elicited a number of deficiencies in the current global governance framework, most notably its weaknesses in mustering a coordinated response to the global economic downturn. A global economy is not fully “global” if it is devoid of the capability to conduct coordinated and effective responses to a global economic crisis. What may be needed is a more flexible governance structure in the world economy that is capable of exhibiting greater synchronicity in economic policies across countries and regions. Such a governance structure should accord greater weight to regional integration arrangements and their development institutions at the level of key G20 decisions concerning international economic policy coordination.

The need for greater synchronicity in the global economy arises across several trajectories:

· Greater synchronicity in the anti-crisis response across countries and regions – according to the IMF it is a coordinated response that renders economic stimulus more efficacious in countering the global downturn

· Synchronicity in the withdrawal of stimulus across the largest economies – absent such coordination the timing of policy normalization could be postponed with negative implications for macroeconomic stability

· Greater synchronicity in opening borders, lifting lockdowns and other policy measures related to responding to the pandemic: such synchronicity provides more scope for cross-country and cross-regional value-added chains to boost production

· Greater synchronicity in ensuring a recovery in migration and the movement of people across borders.

Of course such greater synchronicity in economic policy should not undermine the autonomy of national economic policy – it is rather about the capability of national and regional economies to exhibit greater coordination during downturns rather than a progression towards a uniform pattern of economic policy across countries. Synchronicity is not only about policy coordination per se, but also about creating the infrastructure that facilitates such joint actions. This includes the conclusion of digital accords/agreements that raise significantly the potential for economic policy coordination. Another area is the development of physical infrastructure, most notably in the transportation sphere. Such measures serve to improve regional and inter-regional connectivity and provide a firmer foundation for regional economic integration.

The paradox in which the world economy finds itself is that even as the current crisis is leading to fragmentation and isolationism there is a greater need for more policy coordination and synchronicity to overcome the economic downturn. This need for synchronicity may well increase in the future given the widening array of global risks such as risks to cyber-security as well as energy security and climate change. There is also the risk of the depletion of reserves to counter the Covid crisis that has been accompanied by a rise in debt levels across developed and developing economies. Also, the speed of the propagation of crisis impulses (that effectively increases with technological advances and globalization) is not matched by the capability of economic policy coordination and efficiency of anti-crisis policies.

There may be several modes of advancing greater synchronicity across borders in international relations. One possible option is a major superpower using its clout in a largely unipolar setting to facilitate greater policy coordination. Another possibility is for such coordination to be supported by global international institutions such as the UN, the WTO, Bretton Woods institutions, etc. Other options include coordination across the multiplicity of all countries of the global economy as well as across regional integration arrangements and institutions.

Attaining greater synchronicity across countries will necessitate changes in the global governance framework, which currently is characterized by weak multilateral institutions at the top level and a fragmented framework of governance at the level of countries. What may be needed is a greater scope accorded to regional integration arrangements that may facilitate greater coordination of synchronicity at the regional level as well as across regions. The advantage of providing greater weight to the regional institutions in dealing with global economic downturns emanates from their greater efficiency in coordinating an anti-crisis response at the regional level via investment/infrastructure projects as well as macroeconomic policy coordination. Regional development institutions also have a comparative advantage in leveraging regional interdependencies to promote economic recovery.

In conclusion, the global economy has arguably become more fragmented as a result of the Covid pandemic. The multiplicity of country models of dealing with the pandemic, the “vaccine competition”, the breaking up of global value chains and their nationalization and regionalization all point in the direction of greater localization and self-sufficiency. At the same time there is a need from greater synchronicity across countries particularly in the context of the current pandemic crisis. Regional integration arrangements and institutions could serve to facilitate such coordination in economic policy within and across the major regions of the world economy.

From our partner RIAC

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Economy

A New Strategy for Ukraine

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Authors: Anna Bjerde and Novoye Vremia

Four years ago, the World Bank prepared a multi-year strategy to support Ukraine’s development goals. This was a period of recovery from the economic crisis of 2014-2015, when GDP declined by a cumulative 16 percentage points, the banking sector collapsed, and poverty and other measures of insecurity spiked. Indeed, we noted at the time that Ukraine was at a turning point.

Four years later, despite daunting internal and external challenges, including an ongoing pandemic, Ukraine is a stronger country. It has proved more resilient to unpredictable challenges and is better positioned to achieve its long-term development vision. This increased capacity is first and foremost the result of the determination of the Ukrainian people.

The World Bank is proud to have joined the international community in supporting Ukraine during this period. I am here in Kyiv this week to launch a new program of assistance. In doing this, we look back to what worked and how to apply those lessons going forward. In Ukraine—as in many countries—the chief lesson is that development assistance is most effective when it supports policies and projects which the government and citizens really want.

This doesn’t mean only easy or even non-controversial measures; rather, it means we engage closely with government authorities, business, local leaders, and civil society to understand where policy reforms may be most effective in removing obstacles to growth and human development and where specific projects can be most successful in delivering social services, particularly to the poorest.

Looking back over the past four years in Ukraine, a few examples stand out. First, agricultural land reform. For the past two decades, Ukraine was one of the few countries in the world where farmers were not free to sell their land.

The prohibition on allowing farmers to leverage their most valuable asset contributed to underinvestment in one of Ukraine’s most important sources of growth, hurt individual landowners, led to high levels of rural unemployment and poverty, and undermined the country’s long-term competitiveness.

The determination by the President and the actions by the government to open the market on July 1 required courage. This was not an easy decision. Powerful and well-connected interests benefited from the status quo; but it was the right one for Ukrainian citizens.

A second area where we have been closely involved is governance, both with respect to public institutions and the rule of law, as well as the corporate governance of state-owned banks and enterprises. Poll after poll in Ukraine going back more than a decade revealed that strengthening public institutions and creating a level playing field for business was a top priority.

World Bank technical assistance and policy financing have supported measures to restore liability for illicit enrichment of public officials, to strengthen existing anticorruption agencies such as NABU and NACP, and to create new institutions, including the independent High-Anticorruption Court.

We are also working with government to ensure the integrity of state-owned enterprises. Our support to the government’s unbundling of Naftogaz is a good example; assistance in establishing supervisory boards in state-owned banks is another. We hope our early dialogue on modernizing the operations of Ukrzaliznytsia will be equally beneficial.

As we begin preparation of a new strategy, the issues which have guided our ongoing work—strengthening markets, stabilizing Ukraine’s fiscal and financial accounts; and providing inclusive social services more efficiently—remain as pressing today as they were in 2017. Indeed, the progress which has been achieved needs to continue to be supported as they frequently come under assault from powerful interests.

At the same time, recent years have highlighted emerging challenges where we hope to deepen and expand our engagement. First, COVID-19 has underscored the importance of our long partnership in health reform and strengthening social protection programs.

The changes to the provision of health care in Ukraine over recent years has helped mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and will continue to make Ukrainians healthier. Government efforts to better target social spending to the poor has also made a difference. We look forward to continuing our support in both areas, including over the near term through further support to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

Looking ahead, the challenge confronting us all is climate change. Here again, our dialogue with the government has positioned us to help, including to achieve Ukraine’s ambitious commitment to reduce carbon emissions. During President Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington in early September we discussed operations to strengthen the electricity sector; a program to transition from coal power to renewables; municipal energy efficiency investments; and how to tap into Ukraine’s unique capacity to produce and store hydrogen energy. This is a bold agenda, but one that can be realized.

I have been gratified by my visit to Kyiv to see first-hand what has been achieved in recent years. I look forward to our partnership with Ukraine to help realize this courageous vision of the future.

Originally published in Ukrainian language in Novoye Vremia, via World Bank

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