Thursday, October 23, 2014

Economic growth towards development

Artículo de opinión por: Catalina Tamayo Posada (
Estudiante de Economía. Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia.

Since the most recent financial crisis, the world has been trying to reach the pre-crisis levels of growth, unemployment rates –which increased with the crisis-, investment, trade, domestic demand, among other economic variables.

As for growth, there have been lower levels since the 2008 crisis, which was caused by the developed countries. Nevertheless, in 2014 the modest improvements have been fostered by the developed economies, specially, the European Union (EU). While growth in some countries of the EU is explained by the increase in the domestic demand and the recovery of consumer and mortgage credits, some other countries still face weakness in the banking sector. In developing and transition economies from Asia, growth is mainly because of the rise of domestic and public demand. In contrast, sub-Saharan economies are doing well because of high commodity prices, improvements in agriculture and the recovery from civil conflicts. Some Latin American economies have lost momentum due to a decrease in the domestic demand. However, hydrocarbons and mineral exporters are reporting high rates of growth (UNCTAD, 2014)

These slow but considerable improvements in economic growth have to be seen from a new perspective since the world is changing towards a new paradigm in which development plays a key role. According to the Trade and Development Report (2014), progresses in growth must be supported by policies taken by governments to direct the economy to achieve better life standards and to reduce the growing levels of inequality. In order to do it, it is necessary that countries make their best efforts to incentive investment and to raise their levels of human capital and technological know-how. Additionally, increasing per capita incomes is a priority for which it stimulates consumption and therefore the economy as whole, this increase should be the consequence of government’s efforts to improve industries’ productivity. Moreover, developing economies should enhance policies focused on diversifying their economies, strengthening income policies and creating measures to help mitigate the consequences of financial internationalization.

In pursuance of achieving the goals mentioned above, some developing countries and the least developed countries face, among many, a huge problem in terms of financial resources. The poor access they have to these services makes it difficult for the economy to grow. In addition to this, the transfer of technological know-how is urgent in order to develop countries’ own production capabilities (UNCTAD, 2014). The international community faces the challenge of ensuring that these countries –developing and least developed- manage to get the infrastructure required to effectively access to financial services and to implement any new technologies acquired, which in the end is what makes the economy more productive and –with good policies- more inclusive. If done so, economic recovery would be faster, more “global” and guided to development.


UNCTAD. (2014). Trade and Development Report 2014. New York and Geneva: United Nations.

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