It’s Time to Think Outside the Box

For years, Canada was happy and content to stay in the box–as long as it meant being together with the U.S. Yet, after the recent G-8 summit, it became clear the box is no longer enough. The world is changing, rapidly, and if we don’t catch on, the consequences could be detrimental for Canada’s economy.

For example, during the G-8 summit, Russia, China, and India held their own little meetings, knitting an intricate web of trilateral economic, energy, science, and technology cooperation. These three know that following the U.S. may no longer fit the changing geopolitical and global economic structures. Canada should realize that as well.

The shift of economic power, and by extension, political powers as well, was evident elsewhere, too. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, discussed earlier this year anti- terrorism measures and energy development.

Also, top Middle East oil producers are finding new ways to increase value of their petrodollars–by going East, instead of West. Oil-rich countries are tired of flushing their oil through western banks. Instead, they are turning to China and India for growth.

Oil producers are not the only ones looking into ways to profit from the emerging markets. Middle East telecom and business service companies are also trying to get their foot in the door. For example, a telecom company from the United Arab Emirates forked $2.6 billion for a telecom player from Pakistan.

Even the label “emerging markets” may not have a leg to stand on for very much longer. China and India are already members of the World Trade Organization. Brazil has a new and stronger president. And, South Africa decided these guys were much more fun to “play” with.

I wrote a while ago about David Dodge inviting change at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But, what Mr. Dodge may be forgetting is that while IMF voting changes would give China, South Korea, Mexico, and Turkey more power, Europe, the U.S., Japan and Canada would also lose their voting powers.

Obviously, the shift in power is about to happen, as the voices of emerging markets are becoming stronger and stronger. With stronger voices, the shift in the world future trading system is also imminent. Having that shift in mind, and if Canada is not outside its box, we could miss out on some great and profitable opportunities.