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Post Info TOPIC: Why Are They Important?

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Why Are They Important?


       It is often supposed that most of the countries we now call emerging markets were globally unimportant until the late 20th century. Yet China, Egypt, India, Mexico and Peru (among others) were regional powers before 1600. In the light of history, many emerging markets are re-emerging markets. Their astonishing growth in the last quarter century reflects past success; and their collective challenge to the rest of the world winds the clock back half a millennium.

The world knows the largest emerging markets are global economic and (increasingly) geopolitical powers. But it has yet to come to terms with the facts that: the North-South paradigm is history; shifting wealth patterns have generated new global dynamics; centrifugal forces unleashed by the success of the development enterprise have made it harder to achieve an international consensus on new policy directions; the global poverty landscape has been transformed since 1980; the post-World War II architecture of international aid has been shattered; the lessons of development success should begin to flow towards rich countries; global policies and institutions need urgent adjustment; and the future of emerging markets and the future of the rest of the world are joined at the hip.

People in rich countries who (in some cases wishfully) believe the world order of the 19th and 20th centuries can be revived ignore two realities. First, notwithstanding blips, the fortunes of emerging markets will continue to affect the rest of the world. Second, their relationships with the rest of the world and with each other could be rough or smooth. To avoid a rough ride, emerging markets must answer generic questions that, in greater or lesser degree and with variable urgency, affect them all. The world as a whole has a vested interest in their success and is (willingly or grudgingly) obliged to help them find practical solutions to their common, complex, unprecedented and urgent challenges.

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