Emerging Market Countries

While emerging nations fear that global trade is slowing, they recognise that if they allow their currencies to fall, then by promoting exports and reducing imports they can “ride-out the recession.” That, at least, is what worked for Poland in the 2008-09 recession.

Countries that have large foreign currency borrowings will find it more difficult to meet their repayments: Hungary and Korea for example.

And there is another problem: many emerging economies are relatively large exporters (and importers) of raw material commodities. The volatility (recently falls) in prices that these have seen could have unforeseen consequences for varying economies,their currencies, and the businesses that operate within them.


How do we tie this back to what really matters — human quality of life?

People living in emerging countries would like a better quality of life. They can get this either by closing their borders and working to develop the resources they have — perhaps copying the ideas and innovations of ‘developed’ countries, but doing so in their own way. This is relatively slow.

Or they can open their borders and trade the skills and resources they have for skills and resources that others have. This accelerates progress, and foreign loans can accelerate progress still further. But it increases the downside if things do not turn out as hoped. Which is where we are now.

The underlying model, however, is not sustainable. It is linear. It involves exchanging finite national natural resources for foreign goods and services. As well as accelerating development it also accelerates the point at which natural resources will be used up — since in encourages consumption at a (global) rate that is faster than the rate at which the (national) resources can be renewed. (Eg Solomon Islands forestry.)

So emerging economies are a microcosm of the global economy as a whole.

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