This week Radio NZ National has been running a BBC series on the MINT economies – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the term BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China), visits each country to look at the opportunities and challenges facing these countries as they attempt to become leading economic powers. The series is a good reminder to think beyond China (and India) as countries shaping the future.
Some of the issues facing the MINTs are also pertinent to NZ – the need to export more, support the growth of small countries, develop good infrastructure, and don’t forget about communities. I haven’t listened to all the programmes, so I’m not sure if sustainability gets much air time. The show’s host is certainly in favour of more growth, but he does note some of the social costs.
Its a good series which looks beyond the hype and illustrates some of the social and economic obstacles facing these countries. Jim is intrigued, but also perplexed by some of the challenges, and thinks decades not years will be required for these countries to become economic giants, if at all.
The programme on Mexico noted the President’s intent to open up the oil exploration sector to foreign investment to improve production levels. This has now been done, but not without considerable opposition.