[Ip-health] Avoid mistakes of the West: Stiglitz

Jockey jockey.kit at gmail.com
Sat Mar 16 19:19:49 PDT 2013


Avoid mistakes of the West: Stiglitz
Kingdom needs its own growth model, must opt out of TPP, Nobel laureate
advises Emerging markets including Thailand, other Asean countries and
China should "decouple themselves from Western markets", Nobel laureate
economist Joseph Stiglitz said during a speech in Bangkok yesterday.

To be able to grow, emerging markets must be less dependent on exports,
boost domestic consumption and find their own model of sustainable economic
growth, the US economist said.

Stiglitz said the most serious questions facing the global and regional
economies were whether the euro zone would survive; whether the European
Union would drop the austerity policies that have caused recession and
switch to a policy of growth; and whether the US will be able to move
beyond its current gridlock. Stiglitz expected not more than 3 per cent
growth in the US in the near future, adding that the country needs to
reduce its significant unemployment level. But full employment was not in
sight this decade, he said.

"It's going to be a long time before we can get back to what I may call
normal," he said.

He also expected emerging markets, China in particular, to be able to
decouple their economies from Western economies and develop in a
sustainable way.

Stiglitz was speaking during an on-stage interview with Nation Multimedia
Group chairman Suthichai Yoon. He earlier gave a lecture on the global
economic outlook as part of an international academic seminar at Dhurakij
Pundit University.

The Nobel laureate opposes austerity measures, saying they had proven to
lead to recession and depression. To avoid repeating developed countries'
mistakes, newly emerging economies should invest in education, technology,
the environment and public health and find a sustainable model of economic
growth, he said.

"Focus on quality of growth, environment, living standards and how the
benefits are shared," he said.

US innovations had contributed in part to the country's current economic
instability. The innovations were created to save labour costs, but now
unemployment rates are problematic, he said.

The US and European countries, as well as Japan, also need structural and
educational reforms, but implementing them was difficult now that they were
facing economic problems, Stiglitz said.

"From the point of view of the region and from the point of view of the
planet, it's going to be very important for China to develop a new model of
economic growth, because if it imitates the economic growth of the United
States based on [unchecked] consumption and material goods, our planet
won't survive," he said.

Discussing the problems in the euro zone, he voiced opposition to the idea
of a common currency - a direction in which Asean might be heading.

"If you go down the common currency [route], that is a bad idea. You need
to talk about Asian cooperation," he said. "Sharing a currency takes away
the ability to adapt, to adjust," he said.

"A common market is a good idea; while the issues of the market are
relatively small, they can still benefit from economy of scale."

Stiglitz said corporations' lobbying of politicians was standing in the way
of resolving economic problems.

He also warned that the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP)
that the US is trying to reach with other countries is dangerous.

"While negotiations are behind closed doors, cooperation is on the table,"
he said.

Drug companies, for example, are among the corporations lobbying
politicians in secret negotiations, he said.

"The objective [of drug companies] is to make profit. The way they do this
is to make you pay high prices even though the basic research is paid for
by the American government," he said.

"They are very bad for the development of generic drug industries. Thailand
is one of the good countries in this area. It would be a mistake for you to
give up on that. And if you join the TPP, you will have to," he said.

During his visit to Thailand last year, US President Barack Obama tried to
convince Thailand to join in the TPP.

More information about the Ip-health mailing list