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As part of an ongoing effort to persuade the leaders of the G-20 countries to better address the needs of poor countries in their Summit, CGD president Nancy Birdsall visited Pittsburgh yesterday with a small band of CGDers in tow, myself included.
We tend to think of globalization in the following way: the rich world exports financial capital, technology, sophisticated goods, and entrepreneurial and managerial skills in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries; the latter, in turn, export people, resources, and low-skilled goods to the rich world.
Last week, the Aluminum Corp. of China, otherwise known as Chinalco, received regulatory approval to proceed with its investment of $19.5 billion in the Australian-based mining giant Rio Tinto, giving the Chinese access to a large and secure supply of iron ore, copper, aluminium and other resources in Australia and Latin America. Is this a signal that China is losing interest in Africa? Or that African governments are becoming disenchanted with their Chinese partners?
In its special report on the rise and fall of the wealthy, referring to the trends in income inequality in the United States The Economist (April 4-10th 2009, p. 3) states “… Another international study found that only Mexico and Russia had more unequal income distributions than America.” That is plain wrong.
Leaders from more than 20 major nations announced Thursday (see the Communiqué) that they would make available an additional $1 trillion through the International Monetary Fund and other institutions to help developing countries cope with the global economic crisis.
The outcome of today’s G20 summit has become even more critical for developing countries as the World Bank revised the 2009 forecast for GDP growth in the developing world to 2.1 percent down from 5.8 percent in 2008. But a draft copy of the G20 communiqué published by the Financial Times could go farther in its commitment to help the world’s most vulnerable countries.
This is a joint posting with David Beckmann, originally appearing on the Huffington Post Web site on March 17, 2009.
In the face of big global challenges, President Obama has rightly called for a new, smarter U.S. foreign policy that focuses on bolstering our long-term security, building our alliances, and expanding global prosperity. A central element of his new approach is elevating U.S. support for global development and balancing it with defense and diplomacy, which in practice means strengthening U.S. foreign assistance and other programs that fight poverty, disease, and lack of opportunity in developing nations.
In early 2009, before the inauguration of President Obama, Kim Elliott and I decided it was time to think seriously and coherently about the future direction of U.S. trade policy, especially as it relates to developing countries.