The world is moving into an era without any dominant global powers, and Canada will be among the winners in the new world disorder, a prominent risk analyst predicts in a new book.
Ian Bremmer, author of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World, identifies Canada as one of the very few developed-world countries that will have a distinct economic edge as the world moves into a new phase of global power.
“We have entered what I like to call a ‘G-Zero’ world: one in which no single nation (not even the U.S.) or alliance of governments (certainly not the G-7 or G-20) possesses the political and economic muscle to drive an international agenda,” Bremmer writes in The Wall Street Journal. “In this new decentralized global order, growth isn’t enough. A country also must have resilience – the power to pivot.”
As one of these “pivot” nations, Canada joins a list of mostly emerging economies as a country with the wind at its back in the coming years. Among other countries Bremmer identifies as winners are Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and even Africa, which he describes as a “pivot continent.”
Not surprisingly, Bremmer cites Canada’s commodity-heavy economy as the reason for its inclusion in the list, but he notes that one of the major factors in Canada’s sunny outlook is its decreasing dependence on the U.S. as a market.
“The percentage of Canada’s exports to countries other than the U.S. jumped from 18 per cent in 2005 to more than 25 per cent just four years later, and Canada now draws nearly 40 per cent of its imports from countries other than the U.S.,” Bremmer writes.
In an interview with Salon, he argued that “it’s countries that are able to hedge and adapt between different models of growth and integration, that don’t get captured by any individual large country [that will thrive] and…Canada’s really good at doing that.
Bremmer noted that British Columbia now exports more wood to China than it dos to the U.S. and even pointed out that climate change will stand to benefit Canada in at least one way – it will open the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, making Canada the centre of a new global shipping route.
Bremmer’s argument centers around the notion that the existing international institutions that act as the foundation of our economic order – the G7, the G20, the IMF and so on – no longer reflect the actual nature of global power, and so are sinking into irrelevance. No new institutions are on the horizon to take their place.
“The G7 group of industrialized democracies has become an anachronism, but the expanded G20 doesn’t work either, because there are too many players with too broad a range of interests and values seated around its negotiating table to produce agreement on anything more demanding than high-minded declarations of principle,” he writes at Reuters.
“In short, we are now living with a G-Zero order, one in which no single power or alliance of powers has the muscle, the means and the will to provide the leadership needed to tackle a growing list of transnational threats.”
Source: Huffington Post, May 10