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MGT520 - International Business - Lecture Handout 13

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NATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN POLITICAL ECONOMY

The Determinants of Economic Development:

  1. Different countries have dramatically different levels of development, as shown in Map 2.1. GDP/capita is a good yardstick of economic activity, as it measures average value of the goods and services produced by an individual.
  2. But GDP/capita does not consider the differences in costs of living. The UN's PPP index as shown in Table 2.1 shows the differences in the standards of living of people in different countries.
  3. A problem with both GDP/capita and PPP is that they are static in nature. From an international business perspective it is good to look at the rate of growth in the economy as well as the status of its people. Map 2.3 shows that some of the fastest growing countries economically are those have been slower to develop.
  4. A broader approach to assessing the overall quality of life in different countries is the Human Development Index. This is based on life expectancy, literacy rates, and whether (based on PPP indices) incomes are sufficient to meet the basic needs of individuals. Map 2.4 shows the Human Development Index. Notice that some of the worse off countries are heavily populated and have rapidly expanding populations.
  5. What is the relationship between political economy and economic progress? This is a difficult issue. One thing that is generally accepted is that innovation is the engine of long-run economic growth. Another thing that we have come to generally accept in recent years is that a market economy is better at stimulating innovation than a command economy that does not have the same types of incentives for individual initiative.
  6. Innovation also depends on a strong protection of property rights, as innovators and entrepreneurs need some level of assurance that they will be able to reap the benefits of their initiative.
  7. While it is possible to have innovation and economic growth in a totalitarian state, many believe that economic growth and a free market system will eventually lead a country to becoming more democratic.
  8. Geography can also affect economic development. A landlocked country with an inhospitable climate, poor soil, few natural resources, and terrible diseases is unlikely to develop economically as fast as country with the opposite characteristics on each of these attributes.
  9. While it can be hard to do much about unfavorable geography, education is something that governments can affect. Numerous studies suggest that countries that invest more in the education of their young people develop faster economically. Examples include, Japan, South Korea and many Asian countries.

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MGT601 - SME Management - Lecture Handout 45

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SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS

The role of government as a facilitator of business and its interaction with business support institutions is imperative for the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship for the growth of the sector. SME promotion is an important issue for many government departments and central offices. For example, the Ministry of Labour plays an important role in shaping the labour market policy of the state. Similarly, in order to gather information on the health of the SME population the role of Federal Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Finance, and planning division is pivotal. Other ministries and divisions such as Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Science & Technology also influence the situation of our SME. Provincial and local governments also take their share in responsibility.

However, there is an existing lack of coordination and regular information exchange mechanism among institutions, which constrains their collective ability to deliver in the SME development process. As a result of the Government’s recent efforts, two institutions Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) and SME Bank were created.

The responsibility for facilitating SME policy development now lies with SMEDA, which is attached to the Ministry of Industry and Production (MOPI). SMEDA is responsible for creation and coordination of Government policy for the SME sector. Parliament, naturally, is responsible for monitoring policy and its implementation.

One of the major reasons for the lack of coordination is that SMEDA has not been provided with a formal mechanism to initiate, coordinate, monitor and evaluate initiatives undertaken for SME development, which fall outside of its own scope of activities.

Therefore, cross-departmental and stakeholder consultations, resulting in the preparation of our national SME policy are our key to success. Regular information exchange mechanism and networking needs to be developed amongst our public and private sector institutions. There is a strong need to devise such an information exchange mechanism and redefine the role of institutions, specifying their functions in order to avoid duplication of efforts and allowing the best possible usage of resources.

Under the SME Sector Development Program it is expected that SMEDA