Pakistan and the world in 2025

Discussion in 'Economy & Development' started by Neo, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. Neo
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    Neo RETIRED

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    To reflect on Pakistan’s economic presence and about its economic future, we will do well to begin by asking a series of questions about the way the world is being shaped and reshaped today by developments that were years in the making but which have come together to produce a perfect storm.

    Questions about how some of these developments are likely to influence different parts of the globe including South Asia. How much of what is likely to occur here will depend in part on what will happen beyond our borders – not only in Afghanistan, India and Kashmir – but in places far beyond our borders. What will the world look like in a decade and a half from now, say in 2025? Will the United States still be the dominant player, able to project its economic and political power to all parts of the globe, unconstrained by international opinion?

    Or would it be weakened by its involvement in the twin wars of Iraq and Afghanistan where military victory defined in conventional terms has eluded it? Will the grave economic crisis of 2007-08 that shows no sign of abating and is likely to rage on in 2009 and perhaps even beyond affect the US’s position in the global economy?

    Will the space likely to be vacated by the United States be occupied by some of the resurgent powers (Russia, for instance) or by large emerging countries (Brazil, China, India, South Africa, for instance), or by small but resource-rich countries (the countries in the Persian Gulf, for instance)?

    Did the meeting of the G20 in Washington on November 20, set a process in place that may create a new international economic order of as much economic and financial consequence as the one established by the Breton Woods conference held in 1944 by the victors of the Second World War?

    What will happen to the on-going conflict between militant Islam and the West? Will President George W. Bush, who will soon withdraw to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, leave a lasting legacy in the form of the war on terror in which there cannot be any accommodation with those who feel differently compared to the neo-conservatives in the United States or will the in-coming admisntration of President Barack Obama be able to separate genuine grievances from ugly ideology?

    Will the moderate elements in Muslim societies around the globe overcome the extremists that have sullied their religion and be able to exist in a world in which religion occupies only personal space?

    Which of the various regions of the world improve their situation and which will withdraw to the margins of the global economy and polity? Will Latin America led by a mixture of both pragmatic (President Ignacio da Silva Lula of Brazil, for instance) and ideological (Presidents Chavez of Venezuela, Morales of Bolivia, Ortega of Honduras, for instance) leaders finally realise its potential and begin to wield its weight in the global economic and political systems?

    Will East Asia move further still in projecting its economic strength and, led by China, begin to play a dominant role in the global economic matters? Will South Asia, mired for decades in internal conflicts, finally begin to function as a region and not as group of countries unable to work together? South Asia too has a country with more than a billion people and like China, India too could become the region’s anchor economy.

    Is that something that would be acceptable to other countries of the region or would India’s ascent be viewed by them as the rise of a hegemonic power? Will South and East Asia be able to work together to usher in the Asian century in which both China and India manage to achieve the potential they have and which they had once shown before the advent of the colonial age?

    What about Africa? Will it be able to rid itself of the tribal wars that that have gone on for decades and that have taken such a heavy human and economic toll on the continent? Will a new generation of leaders rise in the continent and replace those who have plundered and ravaged this land of plenty and bring it to the place of development it should have reached a long time ago?

    And – to close the circle – will Europe successfully enter what many of its philosophers and political thinkers have called the post-modern era? Europe, unlike the United States, has a number of unique problems it must deal with in order to move forward. Most countries of the region have declining populations. Is demographic decline compatible with economic dynamism?

    The relatively easy movement of people across international borders in recent times has begun to demographically churn the populations in some of the countries of Europe that have not known diversity. This is happening to the nations where the migrants from North Africa as well as from sub-Saharan Africa have begun to change racial and religious composition. Will this transition happen in peace or will it produce conflict that will last for decades?

    Many new migrants are bringing with them a religion with which the Europeans always had an uneasy relationship. Will the increasing presence of Islam in Europe also lead to a conflict or will the assimilation happen in relative peace?Will the global economy progress in a way that allows those that are relatively underdeveloped to close the gap – not entirely but perceptibly – with those that have advanced at historically unprecedented rates by claiming a disproportionate share of non-renewable resources? Or are we entering an era of conflict over the use of resources that have depleted to the point that they have become a serious constraint on further progress? How will climate change affect different parts of the world and will the global community find the political will to take actions before the current trend becomes irreversible?

    The Director of the United States National Intelligence Council released a report on November 20 that begins to answer some of the questions I have posed above, admittedly from the American perspective. The report, Global Trends in 2025 – A Transformed World, took a year to complete and involved a number of agencies of the United States government.

    It suggests that “by 2025, the accelerating pace of globalization and the emergence of new powers will produce a world order vastly different from the system in place for most of the post-World War era”. It “projects a still preeminent US joined by fast developing powers notably India and China at the top of a multi-polar international system.”

    The US is projected to surrender some of the power it has wielded since the end of the Second World War. The US’s authority in world affairs increased further after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the demise of European Communism. Francis Fukiyama, the well known and regarded conservative scholar, declared that history had come to end, interpreting history as made up of conflict.

    The US was now the world’s sheriff, that will keep peace all over the world by exercising its moral authority, and if that failed, by using its force. But the United States over-reached itself in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by ignoring global demands for control over climate change, and by refusing to act with other world nations to solve the problems it alone could not handle, it has lost its claim to leadership.

    Now a US agency responsible for gathering intelligence and analyzing its consequences for its leaders has come to the conclusion that Pax Americana is over and what will now emerge is a global system in which there will be many leaders and even more players. It is interesting that this message was made public exactly two months before Barack Obama will take office. The DNI report says “that the world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the presence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons. Widening gaps in the birth rates and wealth to poverty ratios and the uneven impact of climate change could exacerbate tensions.”

    One doesn’t need to be too suspicious and paranoid to see Pakistan embedded in that last sentence of the DNI report. As we approach the world for capital to rescue us from our present economic difficulties, it would be right to understand how the world sees us. At the same time we will do well to study the changes that are taking place in the global economy to determine exactly where we can fit and get accomodated.
  2. Zaheerkhan
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    Zaheerkhan FULL MEMBER

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    Very interesting topic...can have a debate for days....

    As of the near future, this is the "season" of the great depression, will only end in about 2011. What is to be seen is weather the 'free market' banking system of the west is able to survive or will the 'free market' come to an end . This is the most interesting part of it all. secondly,there are many theories about what will happen to the world order by 2025, but, the theory I would agree with is that there will be multi-centres of power, and history is evident to the fact that whenever there has been multi-centres of power, there have been great wars, maybe we get to see another world war by 2050, which wipes out half of humanity!!:guns: :tsk: :lol:
  3. solid snake
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    solid snake SENIOR MEMBER

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    Quite funny how a harmless looking problem which began as a worry and has now escalated into a worldwide recession and possibly even depression has triggered the beginning of the end of Uncle Sam's time at the throne, all by himself. I am talking about the mortgage crisis of the US that triggered it all.

    Now it will be interesting to see how 302 million Americans can compete with 1+ billion Chinese and Indians.