[China] is a statistical haze, but the trade figures for last month—with exports 2% lower than in November 2007 and imports 18% down—were shocking. Power generation, generally a reliable number, fell by 7%. Even though the World Bank and other forecasters still expect China’s GDP to grow by 7.5% in 2009, that is below the 8% level regarded, almost superstitiously, as essential if huge social dislocation is to be avoided. Just this month a senior party researcher gave warning of what he called, in party-speak, “a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil”. Indeed, demonstrations and protests, always common in China, are proliferating, as laid-off factory-workers join dispossessed farmers, environmental campaigners and victims of police harassment in taking to the streets.Indeed, an increasing number of Chinese citizens appear to be taking to the streets, as businesses and factories continue to shut down. It will be curious to discover how Chinese officials will continue to deal with the downturn. Perhaps even more curious to see if China's economic woes will translate to increased migration to African states - attractive markets for many unable to secure livelihoods in the Motherland.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
From today's Economist:
In last Tuesday's NYTimes, Kristol touted the importance of the private sector as a tool for development:
I’m also a believer in aid, particularly health and education interventions. But I also believe that business can raise living standards on a scale that aid never can, and that we need to focus more on building manufacturing in poor countries [...] It’s something that I probably haven’t written enough about, and I’ll try to pursue the issue some more in the next year.Interestingly, just two weeks ago the OECD and Eurostat published the first set of comparable data on measures of entrepreneurial activity
Somalia's soldiers and police are deserting at an unprecedented rate. The UN has been unable to put together a multinational military force to stabilize the country. The AU is pulling out, and any sort of U.S./EU "land invasion" to combat piracy appears highly unlikely (indeed now more than ever). So what's to become of this east African state?
Unfortunately, I find myself agreeing with Ethan Zuckerman who writes: