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Tainting IMF’s Georgieva: U.S. Campaign to Tighten the Grip on Bretton Woods Institutions

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In an unprecedented development, the then-Chief Executive of World Bank, and now International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva was accused on September 16, 2021 (alongside her advisor Simeon Djankov) of applying pressure on her staff to boost China’s position in the bank’s “Doing Business 2018” publication, based on an independent investigation conducted by WilmerHale.

The Substance of the Accusations

According to the mentioned law firm, it was hired by the lender’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on January 20, 2021 to review the internal circumstances that allegedly led to the data irregularities due to Georgieva’s ill judgment concerning Beijing.

As the WilmerHale report suggests, Chinese officials repeatedly voiced their discontent over the 2017 Doing Business report, claiming that it failed to adequately reflect the scope of Beijing’s reforms in addressing Jim Yong Kim, the then-President of World Bank, and other top executives at the bank.

When it became apparent that the 2018 draft report would suggest that China dropped in ranking, the bank’s staff began discussing options to improve Beijing’s position, including through adding data from Taiwan and Hong Kong into the mainland’s rating, says the report.

Georgieva, who is reported to be overseeing the issue since October 18, 2017, rejected any incorporation of Hong Kong data into the “Doing Business 2018” report for political reasons—yet, as WilmerHale’s findings argue, she asked “Mr. Djankov” to manage the final publication and work along the way to “identify changes to China’s data that would raise the country’s score.”

In the process of putting the 2018 edition together, the people involved concluded that adjusting China’s “legal rights indicator” was an “ideal vehicle” due to a variety of different opinions related to the effect of Chinese law, as the WilmerHale report claims. This apparently helped China keep its prior position in the bank’s ranking and gave “Mr. Djankov” green light to authorize publication.

Apart from vaguely stating that some staff on the Djankov’s team said that working under his supervision could be “emotionally harrowing,” the report accused both Mr. Djankovic and Ms. Georgieva of pressuring their staff “to make specific changes to China’s data points in an effort to increase its ranking.”

The findings also point to the fact that the final weeks before the “Doing Business 2018” was released at the end of October 2017saw the World Bank’s team, “presumably at the direction of” then-President Jim Kim, being under “both direct and indirect” pressure “to change the report’s methodology in an effort to boost China’s score.” This came to happen precisely at the same time when Mr. Kim and Ms. Georgieva were engaged in delicate negotiations with the Asian country, the U.S. and other members to raise the bank’s capital.

In the end, Beijing accepted a smaller shareholding in the bank than it sought as well as higher rates on bank loans that it received as part of a plan to defuse opposition from the Trump administration. According to the World Bank’s announcement made in 2018, a $13 billion paid-in capital increase boosted China’s shareholding stake to 6.01% from 4.68% but also brought lending reforms that will raise borrowing costs for higher-middle-income countries, including the Middle Kingdom.

The Road to Washington’s Wrath is Paved with Good Intentions

It is not a secret that the nature of the work conducted by top rank officials at the World Bank frequently requires geopolitical calculation and sensitivity. The same is true for Jim Yong Kim, nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012. Kim was dedicated to building bridges between the bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) established by China and the Asian country itself. Balancing between the two biggest economies in the world is a welcomed must amid a changing global economic architecture, not anything abnormal at all.

When it comes to the former Vice-President of the European Commission, although the alleged actions were conducted while Ms. Georgieva was working for the World Bank, they have been referred to the ethics committee’s board of directors at her new job with IMF. Hence, the WilmerHale report comes nearly two years after becoming the first head of the IMF from an emerging market and shortly before the most extraordinary global economic crisis in the Fund’s 76-year history, triggered by the COVID-19 virus.

Moreover, during these testing times, Ms. Georgieva has been overseeing the expansion in the reserve assets of 190 member countries, with $650 billion allocated to tackle the pandemic.

While the U.S. is the largest shareholder in the Washington-based IMF and World Bank, which means it enjoys veto powers over major decisions, the country is in the process of analyzing the “serious finding” in the WilmerHale report. As the Treasury Department’s spokeswoman Alexandra La Manna told Reuters, it is no secret that many GOP lawmakers have opposed expanding support for the mentioned institutions.

Notably, three members of the House Financial Service Committee, U.S. Representative Andy Barr (KY-06), U.S. Representative French Hill (Ar-02) and U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) sent a letter, dated September 22, 2021, to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to review and report to Congress about WilmerHale’s findings within 30 days.

The U.S. politicians are especially interested in obtaining information concerning “Director Georgieva’s interactions with Chinese representatives at the Fund during her deliberations and decision-making process leading up to the August 2, 2021 announcement by the IMF Board of Governors to approve a $650 billion general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which included an estimated $42 billion to the People’s Republic of China.”

What is especially interesting is the fact that although lawyers at WilmerHale made it clear that their “review should not be read to imply that there was any inappropriate conduct on behalf of any Chinese or other government officials,” the GOP signatories of the letter to Ms. Yellen outlined concerns with how “the Chinese Communist Party, in pursuing its self-interest, undermines and infiltrates multilateral institutions such as the Fund, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.”

Moreover, they also asserted that “China feels entitled to a greater say in how these international organizations operate,” while, in their view, “its lack of commitment to multilateral values demonstrates why it must not be allowed to.”

The attempts to assassinate the IMF chief’s character went beyond political circles, as one of the most influential financial magazines also felt the need to weigh into the witch hunt against Ms. Georgieva.

“The head of the IMF must hold the ring while two of its biggest shareholders, America and China, confront each other in a new era of geopolitical rivalry,” The Economist editorial warned. “The next time the IMF tries to referee a currency dispute, or helps reschedule the debt of a country that has borrowed from China, the fund’s critics are sure to cite this investigation to undermine the institution’s credibility. That is why Ms. Georgieva, an esteemed servant of several international institutions, should resign,” the editorial concluded.

Kristalina Georgieva’s fate seems to be already sealed. Before the IMF and World Bank annual meetings to be held between October 11 and 17, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly declined to answer phone calls from Ms. Georgieva, declaring her to be a persona non grata.

In Defense of Reason

Along with these concerted attempts to tarnish the good name of the IMF’s Bulgarian female managing director, some voices profoundly disagree with the accusations against her.

Shanta Devarajan, who was involved in overseeing the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report in 2017, called WilmerHale’s findings concerning the accusations of applying “undue pressure” by Ms. Georgieva on her staff being “beyond credulity.”

Devarajan, who currently serves as professor of development policy at Georgetown University, sent a series of tweets where he argued he never felt any pressure to change Beijing’s scores, rather accusing WilmerHale lawyers of using only half of his statements from an hours-long interview.

Georgieva’s “direction was to verify the China numbers, making sure that China received credit for the reforms they undertook, without compromising the integrity of Doing Business. The Bank’s lawyers left out the latter phrase,” he said, adding that a rush to judgment on Georgieva’s prior role as World Bank CEO “is misguided.”

“The changes to China’s score were either correcting coding errors or judgment calls on questions where judgment was required,” explained Devarajan, who was a senior director in the World Bank’s Development Economics group until 2019.

The former World Bank chief economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz also called the WilmerHale investigation to be “a hatchet job”, denying that he’d heard of any complaints from the Doing Business staff related to feeling pressure from Ms. Georgieva in 2017.

“The fingerprints aren’t there. The report does not accurately reflect what happened,” concluded Stiglitz, who also questioned why it failed to mention the current president David Malpass when data irregularities involving Saudi Arabia’s rating occurred under his leadership.

Jeffrey Sachs, who is director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, did not mince his words in his recent article in Financial Times, saying with conviction that “The heated attack against IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva is not really about the alleged sanctity of World Bank data or about the quality of her management.”

According to Sachs, “It is about the role of China in a Washington-based multilateral institution.” Besides, the world’s famous economist added that the reason for this state of affairs is the fact that “many in the US Congress want Georgieva out because she is not a sworn enemy of Beijing.”

Interestingly, while China’s ranking stayed the same in 2018 as the prior year’s at No. 78, after Ms. Georgieva departed from the World Bank, Beijing was ranked 31st in 2020 and 25th in the unreleased 2021 report, which was now cancelled—all of this under the leadership of Republican David Malpass.

When it comes to Ms. Georgieva, she disagreed “fundamentally with the findings and interpretations” of the WilmerHale report.

“Let me be clear: the conclusions are wrong. I did not pressure anyone to alter any reports. There was absolutely no quid pro quo related to funding for the World Bank of any kind,” the IMF chief wrote in a statement.

Ms. Georgieva also highlighted her effort to prevent Hong Kong data from being added to the “Doing Business 2018” report as a sign of her commitment to preserving the integrity of World Bank data.

As of today, the “Doing Business” report’s publishing is cancelled, which could result in making some investors life more complicated when it comes to assessing where to put their money, as Reuters reports.

The report was the World Bank’s leading publication, which ranked countries based on their regulatory and legal environments, ease of business start-ups, financing, infrastructure and other business climate measures. Due to this fact, it was closely monitored by governments around the world looking to attract more FDI in accordance with their place in the ranking.

“Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate,” the World Bank informed.

The Bretton Woods Institutions’ Original Sin and BRICS

While colonialism seems to be the thing of the past, the sad reality is that inequality between the Global North and the Global South persists. This is happening due to power imbalances inscribed in the world economy and maintained by the developed countries, which claim to have the right and responsibility to set the rules of international trade and finance for the rest of the world.

To serve “their own economic interests, quite often at the expense of everyone else,” to quote economic anthropologist Jason Hickel, the Global North uses the IMF and the World Bank for this purpose.

By tradition under an unwritten transatlantic agreement, Europe has to select the managing directors of the IMF while the U.S. chooses presidents of the World Bank. Kristalina Georgieva is the second woman to have run the IMF, following the current European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

In the BRICS Sanya Declaration issued in April 2011, the members declared that “the voice of emerging and developing countries in international affairs should be enhanced.” Unfortunately, a month later, when Western countries backtracked on their 2009 promise to “appoint the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions through an open, transparent and merit-based selection process” by deciding to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn with the then France’s Finance Minister Lagarde, the emerging economies accepted the fact that Europe will remain to pick the IMF’s Managing Director.

By doing this, Europe decided to discriminate against more than 90% of the world’s population once again. This reduced the legitimacy of the institution, as there was no hope that Legard would step down before 2016 to make place for a non-European person.

The very same scenario repeated in 2012 when Roberto Zoellick announced he would step down as World Bank President. “We will take a position together with the BRICS, making a common choice,” Brazil’s Minister of Finance Guido Mantega declared, giving a glimmer of hope that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria would win broad support among the Global South countries. Sadly, the U.S. candidate, Jim Yong Kim, got this job with the not insignificant help of the Russian government.

In this way, we are faced with an incredibly undemocratic situation where the U.S., G7 and the EU control the veto process in the IMF and the World Bank to the detriment of the majority of the world’s population. In other words, “For every vote that the average person in the Global North has, the average person in the Global South has only one-eighth of a vote (and the average South Asian has only one-20th of a vote),” as Hickel argues in his Al Jazeera article published on November 26, 2020, titled Apartheid in the World Bank and the IMF.

Bearing in mind that both the IMF and the World Bank were founded back in 1944, “these institutions were designed with colonial principles in mind, and they remain largely colonial in character to this day,” the scholar concludes.

Ever since an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and China at the Brazilian mission to the United Nations in New York, which took place on September 20, 2006, the growing discontent about the distribution of power in the IMF and the World Bank became the main unifying factor of the group whose emergence “can be understood as a continuation of the decolonisation process,” as Jyrki Käkönen declares in his academic article Global change: BRICS and the pluralist world order, published in Third World Thematics in 2019.

It was the economic crisis of 2008 that allowed the BRIC nations to openly state their dissatisfaction when in the São Paulo communiqué, jointly issued by Finance Ministers, they made it clear that “reform of the International Monetary Fund and of the World Bank Group should move forward and be guided towards more equitable voice and participation balance between advanced and developing countries.”

A similar request was made in 2009 in Horsham, where the BRICs called it “imperative” that successive heads of the IMF and the World Bank be selected through “open merit-based” processes, irrespective of nationality or regional considerations.

The grouping’s struggle to reform the IMF culminated in 2010 when the Board of Governors approved quota reform—including a quota shift by more than 6% in favor of large emerging economies. The IMF hailed these steps as “historic” to point out that they represented “a major realignment in the ranking of quota shares that better reflects global economic realities and a strengthening in the Fund’s legitimacy and effectiveness.”

We Must Not Harbor Any Illusions

Despite the significant win of the BRICs regarding quota reforms, the U.S. waited five years to agree on reforms that were endorsed by almost all the members of the IMF.

The damage done by the prolonged reluctance to push the reforms through the U.S. Congress has significantly impacted the county’s image and credibility. As George Osborne, the then the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, concluded at that time, it was a “tragedy that an agreement reached across all the members of the IMF was being blocked by the US Congress.”

Regardless of its multilateral commitments, the U.S. delay resulted in keeping the rest of the world hostage to the whims of its Congress, which has limited any prospect of further reforms, especially important for the smaller economies.

2010 were supposed to be part of a more significant change. Still, the zero-sum nature of this sensitive development and the increased competition between the U.S. and China reflected in the recent attacks on the IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva bode ill for the future as far as Washington’s constructive role within the organization is concerned.

With the formation of China’s Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and BRICS’ New Development Bank, which recently admitted the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh as members in its first expansion push, leaders in the large emerging economies would be well-advised to have no illusions about the U.S. role in the Bretton Woods Institutions and its rather apparent intentions.

The IMF and World Bank are becoming too rigid, and they do not seem to be fit for purpose in the 21st century. That is why the acceleration of the delegitimation process has to gain new momentum and more attention put on the non-Bretton Woods institutions in due course.

From our partner RIAC

London-based foreign affairs analyst and commentator, who is the founder of AK Consultancy and editorial board member at the peer-reviewed Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS) in Prague.

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Economy

Accelerating COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake to Boost Malawi’s Economic Recovery

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Lunzu market in southern Malawi. WFP/Greg Barrow

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries including Malawi have struggled to mitigate its impact amid limited fiscal support and fragile health systems. The pandemic has plunged the continent into its first recession in over 25 years, and vulnerable groups such as the poor, informal sector workers, women, and youth, suffer disproportionately from reduced opportunities and unequal access to social safety nets.

Fast-tracking COVID-19 vaccine acquisition—alongside widespread testing, improved treatment, and strong health systems—are critical to protecting lives and stimulating economic recovery. In support of the African Union’s (AU) target to vaccinate 60 percent of the continent’s population by 2022, the World Bank and the AU announced a partnership to assist the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative with resources, allowing countries to purchase and deploy vaccines for up to 400 million Africans. This extraordinary effort complements COVAX and comes at a time of rising cases in the region.

I am convinced that unless every country in the world has fair, broad, and fast access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines, we will not stem the spread of the pandemic and set the global economy on track for a steady and inclusive recovery. The World Bank has taken unprecedented steps to ramp up financing for Malawi, and every country in Africa, to empower them with the resources to implement successful vaccination campaigns and compensate for income losses, food price increases, and service delivery disruptions.

In line with Malawi’s COVID-19 National Response and Preparedness Plan which aims to vaccinate 60 percent of the population, the World Bank approved $30 million in additional financing for the acquisition and deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. This financing comes as a boost to Malawi’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project, bringing World Bank contributions in this sector up to $37 million.

Malawi’s decision to purchase 1.8 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines through the AU/African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) with World Bank financing is a welcome development and will enable Malawi to secure additional vaccines to meet its vaccination target.

However, Malawi’s vaccination campaign has encountered challenges driven by concerns regarding safety, efficacy, religious and cultural beliefs. These concerns, combined with abundant misinformation, are fueling widespread vaccine hesitancy despite the pandemic’s impact on the health and welfare of billions of people.  The low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is of great concern, and it remains an uphill battle to reach the target of 60 percent by the end of 2023 from the current 2.2 percent.

Government leadership remains fundamental as the country continues to address vaccine hesitancy by consistently communicating the benefits of the vaccine, releasing COVID data, and engaging communities to help them understand how this impacts them.

As we deploy targeted resources to address COVID-19, we are also working to ensure that these investments support a robust, sustainable and resilient recovery. Our support emphasizes transparency, social protection, poverty alleviation, and policy-based financing to make sure that COVID assistance gets to the people who have been hit the hardest.

For example, the Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Scaling Project (FInES) in Malawi is supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises by providing them with $47 million in affordable credit through commercial banks and microfinance institutions. Eight months into implementation, approximately $8.4 million (MK6.9 billion) has been made available through three commercial banks on better terms and interest rates. Additionally, nearly 200,000 urban households have received cash transfers and urban poor now have more affordable access to water to promote COVID-19 prevention.

Furthermore, domestic mobilization of resources for the COVID-19 response are vital to ensuring the security of supply of health sector commodities needed to administer vaccinations and sustain ongoing measures. Likewise, regional approaches fostering cross-border collaboration are just as imperative as in-country efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. United Nations (UN) partners in Malawi have been instrumental in convening regional stakeholders and supporting vaccine deployment.

Taking broad, fast action to help countries like Malawi during this unprecedented crisis will save lives and prevent more people falling into poverty. We thank Malawi for their decisive action and will continue to support the country and its people to build a resilient and inclusive recovery.

This op-ed first appeared in The Nation, via World Bank

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An Airplane Dilemma: Convenience Versus Environment

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Mr. President:  There are many consequences of COVID-19 that have changed the existing landscape due to the cumulative effects of personal behavior.  For example, the decline in the use of automobiles has been to the benefit of the environment.  A landmark study published by Nature in May 2020 confirmed a 17 percent drop in daily CO2 emissions but with the expectation that the number will bounce back as human activity returns to normal.

Yet there is hope.  We are all creatures of habit and having tried teleconferences, we are less likely to take the trouble to hop on a plane for a personal meeting, wasting time and effort.  Such is also the belief of aircraft operators.  Add to this the convenience of shopping from home and having the stuff delivered to your door and one can guess what is happening.

In short, the need for passenger planes has diminished while cargo operators face increased demand.  Fewer passenger planes also means a reduction in belly cargo capacity worsening the situation.  All of which has led to a new business with new jobs — converting passenger aircraft for cargo use.  It is not as simple as it might seem, and not just a matter of removing seats, for all unnecessary items must be removed for cargo use. They take up cargo weight and if not removed waste fuel.

After the seats and interior fittings have been removed, the cabin floor has to be strengthened.  The side windows are plugged and smoothed out.  A cargo door is cut out and the existing emergency doors are deactivated and sealed.  Also a new crew entry door has to be cut-out and installed. 

A new in-cabin cargo barrier with a sliding access door is put in, allowing best use of cargo and cockpit space and a merged carrier and crew space.  A new crew lavatory together with replacement water and waste systems replace the old, which supplied the original passenger area and are no longer needed.

The cockpit gets upgrades which include a simplified air distribution system and revised hydraulics.  At the end of it all, we have a cargo jet.  If the airlines are converting their planes, then they must believe not all the travelers will be returning after the covid crisis recedes.

Airline losses have been extraordinary.  Figures sourced from the World Bank and the International Civil Aviation Organization reveal air carriers lost $370 billion in revenues.  This includes $120 billion in the Asia-Pacific region, $100 billion in Europe and $88 billion in North America.

For many of the airlines, it is now a new business model transforming its fleet for cargo demand and launching new cargo routes.  The latter also requires obtaining regulatory approvals.

A promising development for the future is sustainable aviation fuel (SAP).  Developed by the Air France KLM Martinair consortium it reduces CO2 emissions, and cleaner air transport contributes to lessening global warming.

It is a good start since airplanes are major transportation culprits increasing air pollution and radiative forcing.  The latter being the heat reflected back to earth when it is greater than the heat radiated from the earth.  All of which should incline the environmentally conscious to avoid airplane travel — buses and trains pollute less and might be a preferred alternative for domestic travel.

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Economy

There Is No Business, Like Small Business: New Strategy

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Marc Chagall, Circus Horse, 1964

Once upon a time, all big businesses of the world were only small businesses. However, occasionally, when big businesses classified as too big to fail, it is the special status when they start failing their own nations, damaging common good, hurting humankind at large. This is when big business allowed to morph into a Godzilla to trample all over the governments and institutions and line them up as hostages. Study the rise and fall of the world’s largest business empires of last century. 

Now Showtime: There is no business, like small business, because the small business sector is not only a giant business, but also the biggest layer of the economy, largest contributor in kind to its nation, adding jobs, paying taxes and creating real value creation, while taking all the abuse and bureaucratic nonsense.  Hence, post pandemic recovery will take no prisoners and harshly unleash economic challenges as mirror on the economic development competency and question national priorities. Here, no worries, as usual the big business will always take care of itself. Small business will be the only game left in town, something for the political leadership to cling on to and something for local trade groups to try to claim as success. The definitions on what is big and what is small are both on the table for honest evaluation and equally juxtaposed need a declaration on what business serves the economy of the nation and what business destroys the economies of nation.

New math of the post pandemic world clearly shakes down old mindsets. Unless national economic development leaders, trade groups and trade associations acquire proven entrepreneurial experiences, expertise and tactical battlefield capability at the very top and display a warrior mindset to upskill for global competitive excellence, they are just a dance party with water pistols.  Entrepreneurialism is the real value creation driving force behind the economy and not a value manipulation exercise with some certificates. Any misunderstanding on such issues only creates shiny cities, surrounded by tent-cities. Study the global economic chaos and worklessness is creeping across the world.

The illusion of super big technology driving super global growth is another myth of crypto-tyrannies. The worshiping super magnanimous technologies, including Facebook engaged in stealing the future from the next generations, now manipulating data to divide and conquer elections and serving special agenda groups causing tribalism and global socio-economic damage. Study how the future routinely stolen in broad daylight by Social Media. 

Mutation of economic thought:  Why is creation of fake economies much easier; this is where zeros bought, sold and traded as real assets, everything multiplied, subtracted, divided but nothing adds up, there are no bottom-line totals, ever. When columns do not fit anywhere, like an abstract art on canvas, for the eye of the beholder they glow in the dark. Hence, cubism-finances  and impressionist-economies, while on the other hand, real value creation economy is one of the hardest journeys,it isrealentrepreneurialism wrapped in integrity and solid hard day’s work creating common good. The reason is that small medium businesses have lost trust in their government and major institutions, while they paint the economy as abstract art and print invisible unlimited money but SME only thrown in jail if they only photocopy a dollar bill.  Covidians demand a new narrative on economic affairs and overall totals of budgets.

Unless trade groups of nations assembled and thanked profusely for their work done over the last century. Invited to join as new players, as this is now a new page for a new age and a new direction for a new digital future. Let meritocracy chart out the future of trade-groups; let vertical sectors build their own independent global age narratives to ride on entrepreneurial mindsets. When methodical agenda on simultaneous synchronization bring all key components under master plan tabled critical thinking and hardcore business experiences should lead. When vertical groups and all upskilling and reskilling features interact on digital platforms combined, eventually they will all see the light and most importantly learn the future of the global-age of digital commerce. Upskilling of all layers is critical so all grow together. Reskilling to create real value production is essential so it becomes a sustainable model. 

With no room to spend another decade on some academic feasibility studies, organize a warrior team to undertake such mobilization developments. Such national mandates are often not new funding dependent rather execution starved and deployment hungry. Why shut down the electricity of the building and climb the skyscraper via the staircase.  With the majority of nations locked up in an old mindset on digitization, today, they simply cannot zip up to the top floor, exhausted and breathless as they are climbing stairs and badly stuck on lower floors.  Pandemic recovery is harsh. Fire the first person who says they need heavy new funding, fire the second person who says they are too busy to change. Change is a gift for free but for the right mindset.

The New Trends: National mobilization of entrepreneurialism will advance; small and medium businesses will grow, as they have no choice but to upskill innovative excellence and reskill for quality manufacturing of goods and services. Learn from Asia, study Africa, stop reading newspapers but the world maps, acquire new math from ‘population-rich-nations’, and expand collaborative alliances with the knowledge-rich-nations to reach global markets.

New Trends on Small Medium Business Economy:

The new math:  why all over the world it is now attracting new entrepreneurs at rapid speed? Why are Covidians all over the world refusing high-rise, low pay, cubical-slavery and transforming to creative freedom, global-age access and hammocks. Today a USD $1000 investment in technology buys digital solutions, which were million dollars, a decade ago. Today, any micro-small-medium-enterprise capable of remote working models can save 90% of office and bureaucratic costs and suddenly operate like a mini-multi-national with little or no additional costs.

The new uplifts: How struggling economies are now exploring the “National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism on Digital Platforms of Exportability Protocols” as alternate revolutionary thinking. Study how Africa model under Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is expanding and why the groups of western developed economies are so fearful of such a mega shift in thinking. Study Expothon on Google.

The new speed: If Agrarian age to industrial age took a millennia, while industrial age to computer age took a century, now from cyber-age to paperless, cash-less, office-less and work-less age it is almost knocking the door, just open and see. Is this the revenge of The Julian Calendar, time like a tsunami drowning us in our own depths of performance, challenging our lifelong learning and exposing our critical thinking forcing us to fathom the pace of change, swim or drown?

Time to study deeply, why forest fires always put out by creating more selected fires;  therefore let government and bureaucracy stay where they are, while creating a far superior brand new meritocracy centric digital firefighting unit to act at the top and bring required results. The cost is a fraction of what routinely wasted 1000 times in lost and missed opportunities.

Time to appreciate, why is the fear of exposure of limited talent the number one fear of adapting digitizationas digital-divide is just a mental-divide.Why without digitization there is no economy and why it has taken decades?

Time to apply entrepreneurial mindset, why incentivizing all frontline management of all midsize business economic development and foreign investment attraction and export promotion bodies is a requirement of time? Observe the power of entrepreneurial mindset in the driver seat, deploy national mobilization of midsize economies, accept upskilling as a national mandate, and digitization as national pride.

Is there any authoritative leadership on entrepreneurialism present in the boardroom?  No need to have chills, as mainly from Asia, there are some 500 million new entrepreneurs already on the march, therefore, no need to ask where are they headed but rather ask where your national entrepreneurialism is going? Study why entrepreneurialism is neither academic-born nor academic centric, why all most successful legendary founders that created earth shattering organizations were only the dropouts?

Is there a new realization or back to water pistol games? Not to be confused with academic courses on fixing Paper-Mache economies and already broken paperwork trails, chambers primarily focused on conflict resolutions, compliance regulations, and trade groups on taxation policy matters.  Mobilization of small medium business economy is a tactical battlefield of advancements of an enterprise, as meritocracy is the nightmarish challenges for over 100 plus nations where majority high potential sectors are at standstill on such affairs. Surprisingly, such advancements are mostly not new funding hungry but mobilization starved. Observe the trail of silence. The empty shelves are not supply chain issues but symptoms of broken down economies. Economies are not cryptopia; they are about real value creation by the local small medium business forces to create local grassroots prosperity. The failure is not having the right mindsets.

Five things to watch for the year 2022: US election will surprise the world as it has the last two times. World economies tested, financially along with leadership competency levels. Big business will remain big and undisturbed.  The Covidian will march for truth. Small medium business mobilization will further grow as a reliable answer to the economy and jobs.This is how humankind will crawl towards critical thinking.

The rest is easy

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