One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
Dr. Pedro Paez talks about the creation of a new financial architecture in Latin America, based on principles of redistribution, environmental sustainability and social cohesion rather than market principles that dominated the old architecture.
Behind the currency wars and the worsening global economic crisis lies a largely unquestioned free trade model that both contributed to the crisis and, without radical reform, is a major obstacle to overcoming it.
After a brief period of destabilisation, self-justification and the occasional mea culpa, the very people and institutions that plunged the world into crisis have re-emerged unscathed, as the fount of truth and all reasonable policy.
There are many important factors to consider when speaking broadly of China's role in Africa, and one should avoid falling into the trap of simplistic comparisons with historic African-European relations.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.
Charles Santiago, Helmut Markov, Ignacio Garcia Bercero
04 May 2009
"ASEAN should build a different kind of regionalism and not sign bilateral Free Trade Agreements with the EU", says Malaysian MP Mr. Charles Santiago in Brussels in a debate with Mr. Bercero, chief negotiator for the EU in the EU-Korea FTA and Mr.
Talk of the dangers of trade protectionism is used by European politicians to obscure the need for protection from transnational corporations whose control of European trade policy continues to cause negative social and environment impacts. Susan George and Myriam Vander Stichele debate MEP Ignasi Guardans and Chief Economist DG Trade, Gaspar Frontini, in TNI's Debating Europe series.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
Today, just as faith in deregulated markets has evaporated in the nightmare on Wall Street, so too is the long reign of market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) ending in the development arena. And, a debate over the best route to development has returned.
Dark Victory reveals the roots of rising poverty and inequality in the South in a sweeping strategy of global economic rollback unleashed by the US to shore up the North's domination of the international economy and reassert corporate control.
As the world is still assessing one of the most violent shocks in international financial markets ever, and measures to avoid future financial crises are still not in place, developing countries should be cautious of dangers associated with further liberalisation of their financial sectors.