On January 26 ~ 27 this year Mr. Niraj Sharan joined Business Leaders, Policy Makers, Bankers, Government Representatives at the Horasis Annual Meeting in Zurich. This Summit was for "Strategies to Overcome the Global Economic Crisis". Mr Esko Aho - Former Prime Minister of Finland( current Ex VP@ Nokia), Claude Begle, Chairman of Swiss Post, Daniel Brutto, President UPS International, Cheng Feng, Chairman of Hanian Airlines, Alan Haassenfield, Chairman Hasbro, Yoshito Hori, Chairman Globis Group, Swarup Roy, Founder of Asean Affairs, Carlos Collazzo,Chairman Marsys Group and me Co chaired the sessions and spoke on these Strategies.
Mr Niraj Sharan focussed on the near and mid term challenges of Emerging Economies in regard to repositioning of Global Trade. Some key issues shared by me at that Summit were:
- The biggest challenge for the developing nations is to ensure that they recognize that they are a genuinely "young" or "start-up" economy, and do not have the brand advantages that the larger, more mature economies like US or Europe might enjoy. So, first and foremost, they need to become credible players on the table, ensuring that they deliver on the promise of growth, but more importantly they deliver on the promise of "quality". Without delivering quality, you have no chance of establishing a brand. 50 years back, Japan was an emerging economy and a developing one, right after world war II. It delivered on the "Brand Japan" by becoming synonymous to quality. So much so, that Toyota, and other auto manufacturers became quality and brand leader in the automotive sector. BRIC nations need to take a chapter from the Japanese book and adopt it to their respective economies in the current times.
- Second biggest challenge for the developing nations is to ensure that they continue to set highest standards of equitable justice, law and order to ensure that these countries work on continuously reducing the risks in these countries, and make the climate amenable for continued investments by domestic and foreign investors. Capital will fly to economies which are inherently lower risk, if it can yield similar returns. BRIC and other developing nations need to keep reducing their risk ratings for their economy as seen by sophisticated investors and entrepreneurs.
- Poor Public Governance – most developing nations have shown inability in delivering freedoms for a vast majority of people. Politics and Business in many developing countries have worked together to use Power as a means of enrichment. Economic growth, rather than being a force of Democratic involvement, many a times reinforces confidence of business and political elites with disdain for the needs of civil society and social justice. And it is here Entrepreneurs and Professionals must play an active role in public realm. A rapid social stratification based on Consumption power is emerging that threatens inclusive growth.
- Weak deliverable Education System –A more objective Education system that delivers employable people is impeding growth – education institutions and Industry need to collaborate and understand “deliverable” skill sets. If required, Vocational training and specific short time modules specific to high growth areas must be scaled up to employ large work force that enters every year in to the commerce world.
- Sustainable development is also going to be key here. They need to learn from the mistakes of the developed nations, and ensure that these new emerging countries are developing growth and economic strategies which are built upon the foundation of sustainability. All clean, green, renewable and ecological compliant efforts are part of this Sustainable development. For if Growth prematurely tapers off, then the political system is either captured or dominated by special interests that many a times undermines democracy.