In reality, however, the general economic boom was based on the rapid growth of a few leading developing countries, the recipients of the bulk of direct investments used in the period up to to boost their development. Some components of this financial influx were unstable. Source :World Bank, True, the growth of private investments in the s reflected three important additional factors as compared to the s. Those factors were: the steep investment upsurge in China, privatization in Brazil and Argentina, and the emergence of a group of transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS 27 countries as an object of investment.
Diagrams 2 and 3 show that the inflow of net resources to developing countries sharply decreased together with ODA at the height of the Asian crisis in the late s . At the same time, savings are being taken out of developing countries on a large scale, and this is done mostly by the local political and business elite, rather than by international companies.
The most mobile portfolio and banking capital makes it possible to greatly increase financing for a short time, but its outflow may become an instrument for escalating crises, which actually happened in the past decade. It became clear that it was too dangerous to rely on portfolio investments. This is why direct investments have eventually become the main instrument for promoting development in the developing countries. Studies show that guaranteed property rights, black market restrictions, wider political freedoms and anti-corruption measures facilitate economic growth.
The world of poverty is still characterized by a limited inflow of resources from outside, the ineffective use of home resources and continued conflicts that dash the achievements of stabilization periods. According to UNCTAD data made public in October , the volume of direct investments worldwide has decreased by 27 percent this year. The past decade experience has shown that it is not enough to ensure growth for a period of time — it is more important to sustain it over a longer perspective. The developed countries are distinguished by their ability to keep up a high development level despite wars and crises.
A group of countries that are leaders in their regions — developing, transition and even developed states — should be analyzed in this connection. If growth is impeded in the leading regional countries, this invariably results in a general slow-down, a loss of momentum in the reform process and social and political instability. For example, the economic collapse and unsettled political problems in Indonesia had seriously affected the development of South-East Asia at large. Grave crises also hit Argentina, Brazil and Turkey — the lead states in growth rates in the s.
The drama of the s was in that countries with a big growth potential and considerable administrative and human resources the Balkan states, for example had fallen victim to crises and conflicts. A new threat to world economic progress is in the offing — the lost hope for catching up with the first-echelon countries. Analysis of 15 states that play a very important role in their regions excluding North America, Western Europe and Japan amply shows that if there is no growth even in the countries accounting for some 33 percent of the world GDP, there is hardly any sense in talking about large-scale global progress.
In these countries, mean annual GDP growth rates fell from 6. But, in a way, these are cunning statistics: if Russia, India and China are counted out, in the remaining 12 leading states on various continents GDP growth rates dropped much lower — from 4. Between and , Russia alone stepped up its development even in the default year. In China and some other countries growth has slowed. India and Egypt have preserved their growth rates. China, whose weight in the economy of the developing world is immense, is building up an illusion of remarkable progress achieved by combining the concentration of resources with a gradual liberalization of commercial activities.
Many key countries, primarily Argentina, Turkey and, possibly, Brazil, have gone or are going through an acute crisis. Israel and Mexico are in recession. It is the countries with a medium level of development that had a chance to make large-scale foreign loans. Today they are going through all the hardships of indebtedness. Regional and civil conflicts intermitted with economic upheavals make up a motley picture, in part reminiscent of the situation that obtained a century ago.
Gradual stabilization in the transition countries 28 states in Europe and Asia without China and Vietnam, by IMF criteria , especially the four-year growth period in Russia, has relegated their problems to the background. The special analysis made by the International Monetary Fund in showed that in the 20th century there was no radical change in the alignment of states in the world arena . True, its lagging behind the leading industrial countries in terms of per capita GDP increased.
Central and East European countries are reintegrating into the West almost from the same conventional starting position they occupied in the first half of the 20th century percent of per capita GDP compared to Western Europe . Japan and Korea also climbed up visibly. In Russia, modernization issues began to be increasingly discussed as the protracted transition crisis was overcome and the direct consequences of the financial collapse were surmounted.
For the first time in history, this country has found itself bordering to the east and to the west on states having considerably higher growth rates and characterized by sustainable management and purposeful economic strategies such as integration into the EU. The list of negative consequences of the crisis is topped by a huge foreign debt, a lack of trust in financial institutions on the part of the population and businessmen, a low accumulation rate 18 percent against the world average of 23 percent and a low capitalization of even leading Russian companies.
But the main thing is a low rate of development of the middle class, a limited access to resources and a rent-oriented behavior of participants in the accumulation process. In this context, a discussion has started on the problems involved with catching-up development, advantages and disadvantages of an industrial policy and the like.
The s defined the character of the economic and political systems that have emerged in the transition countries. The latter can be divided into several groups passing through different stages of development. Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are European leaders in shaping market institutions and in economic growth rates.
The Baltic states are closer to them. But a big group of countries are finding themselves in an increasingly precarious situation resulting from external and civilian conflicts, hapless economic policies and other factors. Even Ukraine is closer to that group. Russia, Kazakhstan and some other countries stay apart because their economies started growing despite the immense problems, the uneven development in the past and the inadequate institutional base. Today, Russia and the more advanced group of countries are facing similar problems: there is some growth, there is a market now recognized by the EU and there is social and political stability.
The admission of Central and East European countries to the European Union will give them new markets, strict financial rules with respect to budget deficits and the like and grants for regional development. The physical aid of international financial organizations, such as the IMF, is gradually becoming an insurance policy rather than a supporting pillar for Russia.
The emphasis on the role of private capital in IMF programs and on somewhat belated institutional development amply shows that the developed world considers the transition to a market economy in Eastern Europe actually completed. This means that the transition countries will increasingly be treated as normal states with a medium level of development or developing nations. The poorer states are also gradually dissolving in normal international categories. Moreover, each country defines its model of development all by itself on the basis of available resources and the interests of major stock holders and the political and financial elite.
If a country moves toward integration on the basis of foreign capital the Hungarian variant , this is also an eventual choice. If a model of development based on integrated business groups happens to win in Russia, this will be its own choice. To be sure, this option does not guarantee a rapid and large-scale modernization either because any investment in that case should primarily be in corporate interests.
It should be noted that new international accounting standards and WTO competition rules, such as possible establishment of ecological and labor standards, may lead to the actual division of labor in the world. They are not ashamed of that past, yet they do not recommend it to others, primarily for ethical reasons. Understandably, this will greatly stiffen the demands on business activities as compared to the current regulations.
Modernization by new rules is quite possible in the transition countries, but this will not be easy to do. Hoping for foreign aid or capital investments as the main factor of growth is futile. Modernization has always been a result of strenuous home efforts, the use of inner resources and favorable external factors. World economic development in the 21st century is hampered by general political instability, by local and civil conflicts that dash past development results.
Many key countries in different regions are in the grip of crises. Accordingly, this hinders the evening-out of economies. The current development paradigm does not resolve major problems of world development, but it has no alternative today. Various groups of countries with different levels and models of development are facing their own problems. They are addressing them by employing their own methods and they are largely going their own way.
It seems the world convergence resulting from globalization processes was overestimated during the economic boom in the s and the information revolution. Balanced and sustainable development is slipping away so far. No catastrophe threatens the world, but there is no real hope that serious problems will be resolved shortly. This will only happen when humankind realizes global interdependence and mutual responsibility.
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