How Bad Are The Economies Of The Developing World, Like the Philippines, In The Wake Of The World Financial Crisis?
By Kevin Stoda, just back from Manila
This last July 2009, IMPACT magazine in the Philippines published an article by Charles Avila. The article was entitled, "How bad really is the Philippine Economy?" Avila began his piece by reviewing the results of the high level U.N. summit in London June 2009.
In short, that hyped-up summit was considered by many to be a failure. "The first major conference on the financial and economic crisis to involve all countries ended with rich countries blocking substantive reforms demanded by developing countries. The UN conference did however push key issues up the international agenda, such as the need for a better system of international reserves, and for genuine policy space for developing countries."
Avila notes, "The aim [of the UN summit] was to identify both emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis--increasingly perceived to be the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression--especially on vulnerable populations. The hope thereafter was to initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture, taking into account the needs and concerns of all countries of the world."
Avila's overall assessment for developing countries around the globe, and Philippines in particular, today is: "Prospects for an early recovery have faded, forcing countries to prepare for a prolonged downturn in trade, investment and employment." This is quite in contrast to the claims by some economists around the globe that China and other countries were not all that badly affected by the global economic crises.
Avila charges, "The stark reality is that the situation in the world's developing countries--which contributed least to the crisis and yet are the ones most severely affected--has led some economists to warn of 'lost decades for development' which could have catastrophic consequences for rich and poor countries alike. It seems to be bad news all around."