Asia must seize chance offered by globalisation
Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and
Development believes that developing countries need to diversify to take
advantage of globalisation.
The UN secretary-general said that in terms of trade,
investment, technology exchange and finance, the overall effects have been
rather positive. "Look at annual 5% growth in Africa, for example, of exports.
Without globalisation, meaning linkages between the markets and the world in
trade, trade growth in Africa would not have been achieved at the level of 5%
To reap the benefits of globalisation developing
countries need to diversify, Supachai said. "You have to diversify, you have to
keep the flexibility, you have to be able to tap into markets. That's what Asia
is doing so well these days. (â€¦) For globalization to produce the real effect,
you have to have the right governance, the rule of law and the right
macroeconomic policies. You have to have the education and skill level."
Many economies depend on exports of mineral resources and agricultural
products and thus tend to be vulnerable. To counteract this Supachai said that
they must be cost-efficient, because the revenue sides are always highly
volatile and depend on the international situation and the market. Also
important is diversification, meaning that even if you do normal agricultural
production, you can go into industrialisation or processing. "But even within
agriculture, you can diversify. Take, for example, organic farming. Organic
products are becoming so popular around the world because they are
environmentally friendly and healthy. But of course, farmers do not have the
information. So we need policies to address those issues for linking up with the
markets, to get producers to be connected with the
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