Helping developing countries’ economies: is Britain playing a part?Feature of the week
Countries that have developing economies need a helping hand from other countries in order to make them strong and successful. Growing economies at the moment include a large number of African and Asian nations.
What problems do developing nations face?
With different countries developing at different rates, those that lag behind may find it much harder to compete in a global market than those that have been strong for some time. Businesses that are developing new products may find it difficult to find a market for them in other parts of the world if similar products have been developed by companies based in first world nations.
Some developing nations also have crippling problems with poverty and lack the infrastructure to allow their economies to develop as they should. For example, large numbers of children may not be able to attend schools if they are required to work to help to support the family or if they live in an area where there are no schools. This means that they grow up to be uneducated adults, making it harder for them to do anything other than menial work. This ongoing cycle of poverty can hold the nation back.
Presently, the economy of Nigeria is growing, with a number of UK-based investors looking to the country for new markets in areas such as infrastructure and energy. As one of Africa’s strongest economies, there are many opportunities here for investors. Infrastructure, for example, used to be seen as a barrier for investors, but it is now seen as another area that they can invest in. Britain has managed to double its trade between the two countries, and areas that have benefitted include oil, gas, banking and financial services. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of other areas for those who want to invest, including retail and agriculture.
Women in Pakistan can now benefit from micro credit loans provided by UK aid to allow them to establish small businesses. One of the issues in Pakistan is that the majority of people are not able to access financial services, even basic ones such as bank accounts. This scheme has already seen a large number of women benefit, with many of them able to offer work to others as well as improve their own income.
What is Britain doing?
Britain encourages responsible business practices, such as Fairtrade schemes and the Ethical Trading Initiative, that allow businesses in developing nations to get good prices for their products and promote ethical working practices. Britain is also working to bring down the cost and time involved in trading so that more markets are opened up for traders and improvements can be made to working conditions. Countries that are struggling with debt may benefit from the debt relief programmes, and there are programmes in place for improving services for the poorest members of communities in developing nations.
The editorial unit