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Why Countries are Accelerating ‘De-Dollarization’?

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Trading with local currencies is now a common practice in the world economy. Local Currency Trade (LCT) has gained so much traction that bilateral LCT agreements between countries are now widespread. Particularly in the wake of the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine, several middle and small nations are now participating in LCT. Russia and Bangladesh recently announced intentions to repay payments in Yuan in order to get over challenges imposed by US sanctions against Russia. Prior to that, Bangladesh and India had inked an LCT agreement to conduct rupee-based trade. LCT is now preferred in many Eastern nations, not just Bangladesh, India, and Russia. Additionally, there are proposals about creating a new currency to replace dollar trading. In regard to this, it is important to look into the underlying reasons for the de-dollarization. And why the majority of countries in the global south wish to abandon the dollar—the dominant international currency.

De-Dollarization

The term “de-dollarization” refers to the process of shifting away from the use of the dollar in international trade. In order to lower risk and vulnerability in transactions, the dollar has traditionally been used for international trade. In addition, it is a result of US supremacy in terms of soft power and the world economy. De-dollarization is a strategy once used by nations to challenge the US. However, in the Post-Covid period, fluctuating foreign exchange reserves (forex) and the global dollar crisis are some of the main causes driving the current de-dollarization process. Geopolitical rivalry and dwindling confidence in the dollar, however, are also contributing factors at the moment to this process.

De-Dollarization Efforts

Local Currency Trade, or LCT, is a popular de-dollarization approach. LCT refers to cross-border local currency trade. Here, currencies are converted directly based on their exchange rates. The rupee-based trade agreement between Bangladesh and India is an example of LCT.

Aside from LCT, trade-in third currency is currently another aspect of the de-dollarization process. One instance is the repayment between Bangladesh and Russia in the Chinese Yuan. Bangladesh and Russia have decided to use Yuan to settle loans in order to evade US sanctions on Russia’s usage of the global gateway- Swift.

60 countries today are engaged in trading in their respective currencies. It is also being practiced by several of the US’s longtime allies in the global south, like India. India presently has LCT agreements with 19 countries. Saudi Arabia has begun to accept Yuan in the trade of oil. Other Gulf States are thinking about allowing yuan in the oil trade as well. Previously, oil was only sold by Gulf nations in US dollars. However, it appears that they are now thinking about taking additional currencies. Brazil and China have lately announced plans to trade in Yuan.

The idea of creating a new currency is another noteworthy initiative in the ongoing de-dollarization process. To facilitate trade among its members, BRICS has been working to launch a new currency. BRICS presently accounts for 41% of the global population and 31.5% of the global GDP. To decrease its reliance on the dollar, Indonesia is adopting the BRICS model.

Additionally, a new single currency known as the “sur” has been preliminarily adopted in Latin America. Brazil and Argentina, two Latin American giants, want to begin using the currency in their bilateral trade to reduce their dependency on the dollar.

Why Countries are Moving Away from Dollar?

The existing process didn’t happen over the course of a day or a year. Instead, it was a long-term process that lasted the past 20 years. The percentage of global reserves held in dollars is gradually decreasing. According to Bloomberg, the percentage of dollars held in foreign exchange reserves has decreased from 73% in 2001 to 58% by 2023. According to a further breakdown, the representation has decreased by 11% since 2016. And of this, 11%, 8% took place only in one year- 2022.

While the dollar’s portion in global reserves is declining, the Yuan’s stake is gradually increasing and presently ranks fifth in the world with a share of 3%. Yuan has overtaken the Euro as Brazil’s second-largest foreign currency in its forex reserve, which is one of the main drivers behind their LCT deal. China’s portion of the global FX reserve is growing along with its international commerce and investment. Additionally, a lot of nations are beginning to believe in the Yuan as a reliable and trustworthy currency. As a result, many countries are picking the Yuan over the dollar because using the Yuan in international trade also helps the nation keep a balance in its foreign exchange reserves.

In addition, the US has been leveraging its financial system to subjugate its geopolitical adversaries, particularly in the conflicts with China and Russia. This ‘weaponization’ of the currency is eroding international trust. The geopolitical usage of the dollar, which is seen as a universal good, is making the Chinese and Russians nervous. Russia is already prohibited from using Swift, making it difficult for it to conduct business with other countries.

The US administration’s unilateral actions and choices regarding the dollar further exacerbate the current dollar crisis on the global market. The US increased its interest rate eight times in the past year, which led to high exchange rates that affect people who use the dollar around the world. Political Scientist Fareed Zakaria also believes that the US itself is responsible for such a decline in dollar use because of its geopolitical use and weaponization.

However, in addition to geopolitical and trust issues, the de-dollarization process is also driven by high exchange rates and decreasing foreign exchange reserves in developing nations. Economy are already struggling in the post-Covid era and in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. They are turning to LCT to preserve their hard-earned dollars in order to prevent future distress. Additionally, these nations have grown to depend on both Russia and China in a complex manner. Therefore, they cannot simply disregard their commercial relations with these US competitors. They are using either LCT or yuan to keep these trade links going. For instance, Bangladesh pursues a foreign policy that is neutral and balanced toward the major nations. It must pay for a $12 billion nuclear project it has with Russia. So, Bangladesh and Russia are resorting to yuan to avoid sanctions-related complications. Same goes for Brazil, as it intends to utilize its reserve of yuan.

Even though the dollar’s share in global forex is declining, the ideas of launching new currencies are coming forward, trade in yuan is gradually increasing, and LCT are also increasing, Dollar still remains the single largest share holder in the market with 58%, with no eminent competitor. It’s closest competitor, Euro only has 20% share. Therefore, the current process can be termed as an ‘inception’. It is still to early to tell whether the process would end Bretton Wood system or not. Yet, there is no denying that Zakaria believes also, the US itself is to blame for the de-dollarization as it is failing to maintain trust, and has weaponized a public good.

Shoumik Malhotra is a Research Associate at the Center of Border Studies, O.P Jindal Global University. He has completed his BA in Political Science and MA in South Asian Studies. He has also completed his 2nd MA in Sociology from Bielefeld University.

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Economy

Brick By Brick, BRICS Now a New Bridge for a New World

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Measuring BRICS in single decades, in 2001, BRIC started as an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China; Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill claimed that by 2050 the four BRIC economies would come to dominate the global economy. So South Africa was added to BRIC in 2010. The following countries are now expressing interest in joining: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Is this now the awakening of BRICS+ or BRICS power?

BRICS+ by 2030 will add dozen new members and carve new indices, and by 2040, it will lead to new intellectualism on geopolitics and socio-economies for the super complex 2050 age of smart living.  

Historically, BRICS nations pushed on their people-power agenda over super-power titles. They made extreme value-creation economic models over focusing on powerful military-industrial complexes. They focused on nation-building and avoided special mandates to manage global affairs. They have been on a quest to upgrade them. They were feeding hungry mouths, as they were population rich, constantly up-skilling, and improving value creation as they were SME rich. They kept a steady watch to create multilateralism to uplift humankind.

They, too, made mistakes, as did the rest of the world

In the third decade of the third millennium, come 2020, three transformations erupted. First, futurism changed the rules on the ‘physicality of work’ and created a new imbalance with the ‘mentality of performance’; this has divided the workforce of world; the old system of over a billion commuting daily to the center of a complex maze to arrive daily at the sanctum of the company and create climate change. So now, in response, some 50% of the world’s workforce has chosen to stay away and work remotely in the surroundings of wide-open choices. Furthermore, technology uplifted micro-power-nations and exposed Western economies now stripped naked in bubble baths on slippery floors, they tippy-toe practicing conga-lines

Newly magnified economy: Behold, what microscopes exposed the magnified inner workings of the body. Similarly, the integrated networks have exposed the digital connectivity and working of millions of villages, cities, and nations with additional billions of people to interact, trade, improve grassroots prosperity and create a well-informed and opinionated citizenry. Some 100 years ago, if only 1% of the world’s population knew what was happening, today it is a dozen times more, and by 2030 double again. Why would these numbers change the global economic matrix when translated into micro-trading, micro-manufacturing, and micro-exporting? International opinion today is already strong enough to crush any national opinion of any nation still lingering under the illusion of a self-promoted victory.

When the SME sector already exists within each nation, the global markets are always hungry for good quality goods and services, and the rains of almost free digital technologies make such transformation a quick turnaround. Therefore, mindsets are critically essential; the need to define the difference between the job seeker mindset that builds the organizations and the job creator mindset that originates and creates that organization in the first place.

So what are the lessons, key features, and blueprints in sight?

Mistakes and new lessons: Last many decades, as the new world was rising, Western citizens felt like China experts, and their regular visits to local China towns restaurants in each city misguided them that Laundromat trained Chinese could only produce some chicken fried rice. Ever since the advent of the camera, the East was always projected as poor and dysfunctional; mesmerized by the media coverage during the last many decades, the West was equally convinced that India, a land of only snake charmers and fakirs, finally someday speak better English. The general perceptions about Asia, besides eating rice, if they could ever make cheaper products for the West. The rest is history, mistakes, and lessons.

After the big ding-dong nights of 2000 New Year’s Eve, today’s new story starts from the 20th chapter. Now China and India alone have created some 500 million new entrepreneurs, not by a magic pill or meta-crypto-wand but by National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism, a slow, painful deployment of SMEs across the nation, and by creating mobilization protocols to identify, classify, and digitizing based on multiple factors from type and size to the evaluation of their “respectable” role in future communities and economic factors. This methodology was far more advanced in strategy and stern management over the globalization frenzy from the West, where sudden exporting of manufacturing of the industrial plants to kill manufacturing and destroying the middle class out of the West already declared globalization a great success.

The other mistake is to assume this is an economic or an academic study, at best, like an Oscar Slap on sleepy rotundas occupied with endless printing of money across the Western economies. Instead, this is an entrepreneurial response for the entrepreneurial nations to awaken hidden entrepreneurial talents in up-skilling SMEs and re-skilling manufacturers at national levels.

Recommendations and warnings: No airline can survive with only Flight Engineers and Frequent Flyers stuffed inside the cockpits; that space is only reserved for highly trained pilots. Henceforth, across the world, any economic development of any size, shape, or authority may find other more suitable alternate paths of occupation if they still cannot demonstrate any levels of understanding, applicable skills, or mobilization mastery on the National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism to up-skill exporters and re-skill manufactures and uplift national SME sector as the most prominent economic contributor of the nation. Study the biggest error of economic thinking  

Underestimating the hidden powers of early thinking and starting a tiny unknown SME is a mistake of mindsets; here, entrepreneurialism like a saga unfolds, like a voluminous piece of literature but demanding literacy, understanding the job seeker mindsets and the ability to differentiate with entrepreneurial job creator mindset is already winning half the battle. Study the Mindset Hypotheses

Nations failing to realize the power of the billion SME rising in Asia and still unable to declare a national agenda of national mobilization of SMEs now must acquire an understanding of the 4B Factor: a billion displaced due to the pandemic, a billion replaced due to technology, a billion misplaced in wrong jobs now a billion on starvation watch. Furthermore, this 4 billion ever digitally connected mass of people ever in the history of humankind is now the most significant force of global opinion. Notice nations are already intoxicated with joy over the popularity of their national public opinion while having just an opposite international opinion on the world stage.

Recommendation; everyone is born an entrepreneur; our system chips away at this talent. Nevertheless, 10% to 50% high potential SMEs of any nation once are identified, classified, and digitized within 100 days. The uplifting digital platforms of up-skilling exporters and re-skilling manufacturers will result in 10% to 50% quadrupling their performance, productivity, and profitability. Imagine how much-regimented efforts will activate a positive national economic revolution based on real value creation, uplifting grassroots prosperity. How soon is a nation ready for a significant change? The rest is easy.

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Economy

Promoting Economic Security: Enhancing Stability and Well-being

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The stability and well-being of people, communities, and countries are critically dependent on economic security. It covers a range of topics, such as access to necessities, work opportunities, stable incomes, and defense against economic shocks. The need of guaranteeing economic security has increased significantly in the modern world, which is characterized by technical developments, geopolitical shifts, and unexpected disasters. The importance of economic security is examined in this article, along with important tactics for promoting adaptability and preserving people’s quality of life.

The value of economic security to individuals, communities, and countries cannot be overstated. By fostering an atmosphere where people and families can achieve their basic needs without suffering undue stress, it promotes stability. Because of this stability, people can recuperate and start over after severe shocks like economic downturns, natural disasters, or health crises.

Furthermore, economic security contributes to social cohesion by reducing inequality and fostering inclusivity. When individuals feel economically secure, they are more likely to actively participate in society, contribute to their communities, and engage in productive endeavors. This sense of security leads to greater social harmony and a collective feeling of prosperity.

Moreover, economic security is vital for long-term sustainable development. It enables individuals and societies to invest in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and innovation. These investments drive economic growth, improve overall well-being, and create the foundation for a prosperous future. By ensuring economic security, countries can build resilient and sustainable economies that benefit their citizens and contribute to global progress.

To enhance economic security, several key strategies can be implemented. Firstly, governments and businesses should prioritize diversifying their economies by promoting sectors with growth potential and resilience. By reducing reliance on a single industry or market, countries can mitigate the impact of economic downturns and build a more robust and diversified economy.

Investing in education and skills development is another crucial strategy. Governments and organizations must focus on providing quality education, vocational training, and lifelong learning opportunities. Equipping individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge enables them to adapt to changing economic landscapes and remain competitive in the job market.

Strong social safety nets are necessary to protect people during times of economic upheaval. The most disadvantaged populations should be given priority in the design and implementation of comprehensive social welfare systems by the government. Creating a safety net for all citizens entails implementing programs for income support, healthcare coverage, and unemployment benefits.

Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation can create new opportunities for economic growth and job creation. Governments can support aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, mentorship programs, and favorable regulatory environments. Embracing technological advancements and fostering a culture of innovation further enhances economic security, particularly in an increasingly digital world.

International cooperation is essential since economic security is a global issue. Cooperation between nations is necessary to advance ethical business practices, lessen economic inequality, and improve financial stability. Initiating discourse, coordinating policy, and assisting nations in economic crises are all important functions of multilateral organizations.

Societies can improve their economic security and create a more secure and prosperous future by putting these strategies into practice: diversifying the economy, investing in education and skills, creating social safety nets, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and fostering international cooperation.

Having economic security is crucial in a world that is uncertain and changing quickly. Governments, corporations, and individuals may all work together to create an environment that promotes economic security by putting a priority on stability, resilience, and inclusivity. We can create a more resilient and prosperous future for everybody through diversity, education, social safety nets, entrepreneurship, and international cooperation. By making investments in financial stability, we build a more just and sustainable world.

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The Impact of Globalization on the South Asian Economy

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Globalization refers to the process by which economies, societies, and cultures from different countries become integrated with one another. The economies of the countries that make up South-East Asia, which include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, have been significantly impacted by the spread of globalization in recent decades. The effects of globalization on the economies of South Asian countries have been mixed, with some positive and some negative results.

Positive Impacts of Globalization on the South Asian Economy

The expansion of South-East Asia’s trade and investment opportunities is one of the aspects of globalization that has had the most positive impact on the region’s economy. Because of its large consumer base, low labor costs, and strategic location, the region has become an attractive destination for foreign investors. As a consequence of this, the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Asia has significantly increased, which has led to the development of new industries and the production of new jobs.

The expansion of the service industry in Sout-East Asia can also be attributed to the effects of globalization. South Asian countries have emerged as a hub for the outsourcing of services such as information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing as a result of the emergence of new technologies and the increased availability of skilled labor (BPO). As a direct consequence of this, the area has benefited from an increase in both the number of available jobs and the amount of money it brings.

Last but not least, globalization has facilitated greater cultural interaction and integration throughout South-East Asia. The region possesses a significant cultural legacy, and the advent of globalization has made it possible for South Asian music, films, and cuisine to become popular all over the world. This has not only contributed to a greater awareness of the region’s cultural heritage, but it has also opened up new doors for the travel and hospitality industry.

Negative Impacts of Globalization on the South-East Asian Economy

Even though there have been some positive effects, there have also been some negative effects that globalization has had on the South Asian economy. The widening gap between rich and poor is one of the most pressing problems that we face today. The advantages brought about by globalization have accrued almost entirely to a relatively small number of people, which has contributed to a widening income gap. As a consequence of this, social unrest and a wider gap in incomes have emerged.

Another significant obstacle that has been presented is the displacement of workers and traditional industries. Due to the effects of globalization, many smaller businesses have been forced to shut down, and their employees have been relocated to larger companies that are more productive. As a consequence of this, there has been an increase in unemployment as well as social unrest, particularly in rural areas.

Globalization has contributed to the deterioration of the environment in South Asia. The region has seen a growth in industries such as the textile industry, both of which have had a significant impact on the environment as a result of their expansion. The population’s health and well-being have suffered as a direct result of environmental degradation, which can be traced back to the increased consumption of natural resources and the improper disposal of waste produced by industrial processes.

Conclusion

The economy of the South-East Asian region has been affected in both positive and negative ways by the phenomenon of globalization. While it has resulted in the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers and the widening of income inequality. While it has contributed to the growth of industries and increased cultural exchange, it has also resulted in the displacement of workers. In order to address these challenges, policy interventions that foster inclusive growth, protect the environment, and create new opportunities for the population will be required. By acting in this manner, countries in South Asia will be able to take advantage of globalization’s positive aspects while mitigating some of its more damaging effects.

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