The potential of growth markets
Speaking at the WEDF opening plenary session, ‘The growth markets’ potential: what their emergence means for the future’, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, warned that growth in developing countries should not be expected for another five years. Emerging economies, he said, need to ride the new dynamics of globalization and these are increasingly South-South in orientation, he said. He added that in the future, developing countries need to pay more attention to what happens in other developing countries.
Mr Lamy was backed by Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, the Secretary- General of UNCTAD, who also expressed concern that continents appear to be caught in traditional roles: Latin America exporting food products, Africa minerals and raw materials, and Asia manufactured goods.
The audience also heard from Mr Gita about Indonesia’s difficulties in shifting away from a focus on exports of natural resources. He said that he saw opportunities on diversification of exports as the country heads towards a more knowledge-based economy.
Dr Marta Lucia Ramirez de Rincon, CEO of the National Coalition for Colombian Production, and a former Minister of Trade, echoed the views of Mr Gita. She said that Colombia has seen increase in the exports of raw materials, but less so in traditional exports. Her government is now using money from raw materials to invest in innovation education.
A similar story was heard from Ambassador Yonov Frederich Agah, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the WTO. He said that Nigeria’s increasing export of and dependence on fossils had come on the expense of agriculture and manufacturing. Nigeria, too, he said, is now seeking to use revenues to boost up other sectors and.
Read the full report from the WEDF opening plenary session.