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This is a great story for perspective on the current economic crisis. It proves only to be a crisis for the developed world, but with steady growth for much of the world.

Putting aside the United States, which ranks third, the four most populous countries are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world’s people. And all four have made great strides. Indonesia had solid economic growth during the entire decade, mostly in the 5 to 6 percent annual range. That came after its very turbulent 1990s, marked by a disastrous financial crisis and plummeting standards of living.

Brazil also had a consistently good decade, with growth at times exceeding 5 percent a year. There is lots of talk that the country has finally turned the corner, and, within its borders, there is major worry that its currency is too strong — a problem that many other countries would envy.

Elsewhere in South America, Colombia and Peru have made enormous progress and Chile is on the verge of becoming a “developed” country; it will soon be joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Of course the United States and Europe may complain that globalization and free trade have made things difficult, the real story is that free trade has made things better for much of the world.

To be sure, in Africa, there is still enormous misery. Nonetheless, overall standards of living rose in a wide variety of countries there, with economic growth for the continent as a whole at more than 5 percent in most years. Many basic essentials, like water, sanitation, electricity and especially telephones, are more commonly available.

It seems to me that the policies of the World Bank and the World Trade Organization–and the IMF too–have done exactly what they wanted to do, and that is a good thing. Free trade is positive for the welfare of humanity, even if some of the privileged suffer a small bit.



  1. From my point of view,the reason why these countries can not more develop that is population,you give the data ,theirs occupy 1/4 of the world.because of population,they focus on labor force,no good education ,alway do the simple staff without mind,make country undevelop.
    Maybe exchange the youth of these four countries with European countries.Win-win!HAHA!

  2. Good Evening,Mr.P
    After hearing I have an extra day off because of the snow,well,about three hours ago, I decide to write something on your blog.
    Although free trade is so beneficial for every country and also can lower the price of some goods,hatefully,that is just a theory in China. For example,drinking foreign healthy milk is still a luxury for me.

  3. CO-SIGN~MATE.It’s pretty clear that China haven’t been shocked by the tide of crsis.Well,At least my family think so:a friend of my father who runs a HONDA 4S store once told my old man the orders OF CRV were extended until August 2010! which means people are willing to wait for 8 months for this prevailing sport vihicle.Nonetheless, CCTV also announced taht we are expreciencing a slight inflation,what’s inflation indicates?Economic growth undoubtedly.However, on the other side, in order to make some real term economic development ,lots of construction are demanding.The reason why I sit here and commenting Mr.Featherwood’s fascinating bolg is that we have a day off cause of the heavy snow.And why a day off?Cuz the city cannot clear all the snows in one night due to the lack of drainage.Lots of infrastrcture to build man…we still have a long long way ahead of us.

    • Absolutely, still a long way to go.
      And I looove this snow, one day off is awesome ^_^!!!!

  4. firstly, the free trade make these kinds of countries to have changes to receive the direct investment caused by the globalization from the other countries,so these 4 major nations can focus on their specialization. In this case, the exports of these 4 nations are increased,their balance of payment also get improment ,so the “X-M”is increased,from the formula of AD,”AD=C+I+G+X-M”,if the other factors are constant,only the “X-M” increases, the AD will get increase,so the these nations’ GDP will increase, their Economy will get development.

    Also, we focus on the Brizal with the strong currency, which means the demand of Brizal’s currency is more than others. Due to the foreign investment is more, and the Speculators need more Brizal’s currency, in the other hand, the large export stimulate more currency,so the Brizal’s currency is stronger than others.

  5. Well, I’d like to point out the differences between “development” and “growth” first. As the passage reffered, the increase in national income is economic growth, while economic development focuses more on the rise in the sandard of living. As far as I concerned, economic development accompanies economic growth.
    Brazil,Russia,India and China are called “BRICs” whose GDP is increasing constantly. Those developed countries are playing dominant roles in the world economy gradually. As we know, the best illustration is that G8 summit has changed into G20. However, many developed countries are stressful of course, because more and more consumers have been attracted by other countries goods. But the advantages of free international trade shouldn’t be underestimated.Because Lower price, greater choices, more resouces can be achieved through free trade.

  6. It is definately positive for the international trade,especially for developing countries.Actually free trade give more opportunities to all countries of the world to show their adventages.However for the developed countries,they won’t be happy,because the free trade may threaten their dominance of the world’s economy.From my perspective,free trade is really good for developing countries to show their comparative and absolute adventages.

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