The STAR Businessweek
The face(s) of international development finance is changing. Much like the benefactors themselves, the modalities of development aid are becoming increasingly
nontraditional. The new world order is becoming somewhat antiquated, depending of course, on who you ask. Our traditional allies are attempting to become more insular, despite the multipolar current of the world around them. The United States of America has finally begun to take notice of the corrosive effects of China’s debt diplomacy, albeit from a national security perspective rather than one of neighbourly altruism. Read more on America’s plans to overhaul its overseas development aid activities in “US Senate passes $60bn foreign development bill” on page 7.
The United Kingdom is also planning (I’m using planning very generously here) to reform the manner in which it fulfills its overseas aid spending obligations by channelling larger portions of aid into private-sector oriented vehicles—something Labour recently denounced as “an outrageous distortion of the country’s overseas development programme”. Read more in the Financial Times reporting on page 3.
The archetype for 20th century multilateralism—the IMF—has even found itself in an awkward ‘Make America Great Again’ quandary as it concludes its annual meetings in Indonesia tomorrow. With the organisation’s largest financial contributor, the United States, growing increasingly uninterested in deploying American taxpayer dollars towards bailing out shitholes like Pakistan, the IMF’s leadership is using these meetings to dissuade MAGAnauts and other sceptics of the organisation’s
irrelevance in contemporary geopolitics. Despite seemingly pleasant relations between US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and IMF managing director and chairwoman Christine Lagarde, many Washington observers still speculate that the only way to really get American juices flowing again is if Ms. Lagarde—named the world’s most influential woman by Forbes in 2016— is able to effectively court an increasingly bearish US President Donald Trump on the IMF’s value to America. That said, aid-dependent supplicants like Saint Lucia should view the evolving landscape of international developmental finance as an opportunity, not a hurdle. To quote the 5th century Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, aid-dependent nations would be wise to remember that “in the midst of chaos, there is opportunity”.
It’s Nothing Personal. It’s Business.
Stay connected with us at:
Social: www.facebook.com/stluciastar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org