Posts Tagged ‘economy’

THE WORLD FACES FIVE ISSUES (ONLY)

December 22, 2013

Like many males at this time of the year, I feel compelled to address the great issues of the world. Fortunately there are only five:

1. Ensuring a properly functioning economy
2. Avoiding war
3. Creating good governance
4. Keeping balance in the environment
5. Managing migrations

There is some linkage. Economic achievement for example will be affected by success in avoiding war.

What about population growth? Important, yes, but it is likely to be regulated automatically by advances in prosperity. That in turn will be influenced by better governance, as is already happening in Africa.

Migration may not seem a top priority. However statistics indicate Africa’s population will probably rise to four billion. How will they interact with the richer but much smaller and declining population of Europe? If just one per cent decide to move to Europe, that’s forty million. If ten per cent come, that’s more than Europe’s whole present population. What are the implications?

I don’t have all the answers, but it’s a nice short list to work on. All the rest is media chatter, including the question whether Arsenal will win the English soccer Premiership, which I must confess does sometimes clutter my mind.

I trust some of the rest of you are working on the same list. If so, we can doubtless look forward to a better 2014. Good luck and Happy New Year.

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Northern Europe may be dull, but it’s economically competitive – survey

September 6, 2012

Northern Europe may not fire the imagination, but five countries in that region are in the top 10 worldwide measured by economic competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). They are Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

Southern European countries, struggling to cope in the eurozone, languish far back (Spain 36th), but are stabilising their positions due to austerity measures, says the WEF’s latest survey.

In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan are the top 20. China may be a powerhouse but competitively it is back in 29th place.

Top of the class, for the 4th consecutive year is Switzerland. This is what the WEF likes there:

– flexible labour market
– R & D
– protection of intellectual property
– education and training
– transparent public institutions
– rule of law
– economic stability

Credit Suisse has just forecast that after growth of 0.5% this year, Switzerland’s economy will grow strongly again next year.

The moral? Perhaps it’s that you get on well if you are solid and hard-working, but not necessarily hugely inspiring.


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