• Friday, April 12, 2024
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The world economy: Nigerian perspective (1)

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 The global village is constantly confronted with ever growing socio-economic challenges (amongst numerous issues). These problems are normal (with life) and are bound to occur, so long as man exists. They could only vary in magnitude, shade, nature and timing. Of course, though they actually depend on other driving factors like geographical locations, societal/cultural influences, the political disposition of peoples of different nations and continents of the world, and above all, the act of God for mankind, they are still managed by the affected governments in a manner that their economic interests and the wellbeing of their citizens are protected.

Environmental issues have posed very significant challenges with impact left behind to be tackled. Whenever we receive breaking news on natural disasters, which normally create trauma and its attendant adverse/injurious effects to a nation’s socio-economic growth and development, the affected nations are automatically and temporarily dragged backwards after each of such attacks and the devastating impact on their physical development and infrastructure. These destructive natural disasters are occurrences like the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, earth trauma, flooding, snowstorms, tornadoes, cyclone, hurricanes, typhoon winds, droughts, desertification, and other extreme weather conditions and so on. These developments are very unfriendly, hostile occurrences that are arguably above human control (“act of God”); otherwise the world’s 

 

super-powers like the United States of America (USA) or Japan and so on could have been well able to put such occurrences on hold, contain or confront such devastating weather conditions with their acquired hi-technological know-how. A clear example is the adverse impact of the 2011 natural catastrophe (Tsunami) on Japan, which ravaged and created radioactive health hazard for the people, which also destroyed their nuclear power plants.

The unfortunate occurrences of such magnitude impact heavily and leave behind pain and sorrow on a people with a national setback (socio-economically) of which the colossal losses, when quantified in monetary terms, amount to multi-billions of dollars, and also a lot of post-disaster recovery works to be done. The recent devastation by flooding on countries like Thailand, Russia, India and USA heaped socio-economic woes on those affected countries. These natural disasters could be traced back to man’s unguarded actions, accumulated recklessness of unsustainable manner for environmental protection measures on past economic activities (with respect to carbon emissions), which eventually resulted to environmental degradation and global warming (as “climate change”).

Technological advancement, in no small measure, has improved our daily living in the “global village”, with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) taking a lead where most things have been reduced to chips. The generational shift in this jet age further improves the frequency of global diplomatic interactions among nations. These days, world leaders (presidents, prime ministers, finance/foreign ministers and other top-class diplomats) constantly embark on official visits to UN member nations for stronger economic/bilateral ties. The attractive underlying factor is the achievable mutual benefits (in view) for these sovereign states, without which some nations are bound to be faced with economic deficit with respect to their foreign trades, over time. Among these leaders that I call “powerful international marketing executives/chief executive officers of various nations”, interestingly, I personally admire the style (strategic moves and eloquence/schemes with which talk shows are being presented to businessmen/captains of industry) of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

An overview of the global financial crisis in 2009 and 2010 and the present financial shakings among a few countries in the Euro zone shows they normally have some impact and ripple effects within the affected region/zone or economic bloc. This development prompts the EU heads of government and their finance ministers to meet from time to time to discuss and package bailouts for the financially-distressed member nations (such as Greece, Spain, Italy and, most recently, Cyprus). With such collective efforts, feasible solutions are worked out for those members in dire straits. Another country in North Africa that is also experiencing its own peculiar economic problems approached IMF for loan, but ran into some bureaucratic hitches in sourcing the requested loan. Iran, however, has already (under the Arab League link) offered to assist it financially. Secondly, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, pledged financial aid of $450 million to the country during his recent visit. This development or goodwill being extended from other friendly countries could be attributed to cordial diplomatic relationships.

A direct opposite example of the above benefits being enjoyed through existing cordial relations is the United Nations Security Council’s unanimously resolved full implementation of sanctions against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, which the country incurred on Thursday, March 7, 2013 for provocatively launching a nuclear test on February 12, 2013. Details of the sanctions that would follow will most likely bring the country’s government on its knees begging because it has been totally excommunicated forthwith, diplomatically, by the world – and this comes with serious economic impact. A tree definitely can never make a forest. DPRK’s very poor diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and the comity of nations (through their recent nuclear test) have created tensions within and around the Korean peninsula. The impact of the punitive measures taken by the UNSC will go further to impoverish the citizens.

Also, with the recent development between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands dispute (tension in the South China Sea region), the face-off and the seemingly strained economic relationship are hurting already, manifesting in some kind of trade imbalance in their financial records. This brings to fore the awareness that the global economy rests heavily on mutual economic ties among nations. The world economy then is best discussed from the perspective of a cordial diplomatic relations and foreign policy. This political disposition speaks much about how well/far a nation would thrive economically among the comity of nations. Without friendly relations among member nations, the phenomenal impact could amount to total failure with economic woes because strategic marketing for economic success requires well-articulated process juiced with sound policies. The economic race for survival demands no arrogance but a humble/inviting disposition and peaceful atmosphere where diplomacy in the process of climbing up thrives essentially for the desired goal.

 

SUNNY NWACHUKWU

Nwachukwu writes from Onitsha,

Anambra State.

[email protected]

 

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