“And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
This weekly column is published in a series entitled “Serious Business”. However, one verbal comment recently at a casual meeting of a friend was “keep sending me those inspirational columns; I do not see you very often but I feel that we are always in touch”.
Comments like these are often emotionally stirring and are very gratifying. Also, I am motivated to continue writing this column because of other positive responses which are received. Such messages come from family, friends, people whom I do not know, students, colleagues, clients, business persons, ministers of government, the judiciary, permanent secretaries, ambassadors and persons whom I have not seen since university days.
We are living in an exciting era with the power of social media and the Internet – and indeed, the sources of the responses are global.
I attempt to combine thoughts on business management with positive affirmations of passion, persistence and patience. My experience is that such thoughts attract abundance which leads to prosperity in our business, financial, physical, emotional relationships, mental, and spiritual health pursuits.
From my perspective, it is the way to go for the individual, the family, the politicians, the civil service and civil society. If we all think positively then this will engender abundance and prosperity at the country level and then the region.
Talking about the region, to whom will the Caribbean reach out for all-embracing abundance and prosperity?
There are some very interesting statistics accredited to the IMF World Economic Outlook database (October 2014) for 2014 estimates of GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) with projections by PricewaterhouseCoopers for 2030 and 2050. The highest 10 ranked countries are reproduced here:
In 2014: China, US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Brazil, France, Indonesia and the UK
In 2030: China, US, India, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Germany, Mexico and the UK
In 2050: China, India, US, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Nigeria and Germany
The actual GDP at PPP numbers (2014 US$bn) may be accessed at http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2015/02/uk-to-fall-out-of-the-worlds-top-10-largest-economies-by-2050.html.
It is observed that: (1) UK GDP will fall behind Mexico and Indonesia by 2030 – and they could push the UK and France out of the top 10 by 2050; (2) Long-term UK growth, averaging 2.4% to 2050, could be better than other large EU economies, including Germany, France and Italy; (3) China will clearly be the largest economy by 2030, but its growth rate is likely to revert to the global average in the long run; (4) India could challenge the US for second place by 2050; and (5) Nigeria and Vietnam are set to be the fastest growing large economies over the period to 2050.
Absorbing these projections has certainly forced me to come to grips with my own mortality but I hope that for the current leaders and the younger generations (my children and grandchildren) these projections would shift them into strategic thinking mode, since 2050 is only 35 years away.
Tourism is one of the Caribbean’s major economic sectors. The Caribbean is often described as “the most tourism-dependent region in the world”. Formal marketing of the tourism product in the Caribbean is less than 60 years old and we still have voids of unfulfilled potential before we reach “saturation” point and have to reclaim land, as Singapore has done (a whopping 22 percent over the past half-century).
Over these 60 years, we have mainly tapped into markets in the US, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean (the low hanging fruit).
We need to wake up and attract abundance which will lead to prosperity from our tourism industry. In addition to these existing markets, we need to refocus and aggressively enhance the marketing infrastructure to tap into the China, India, Japan, Russia, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria markets where disposable income is abundant.
David P. Rowe, an attorney in Florida and Jamaica and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law, wrote an article last week in the Caribbean Journal commenting on the recent visit of President Obama to Jamaica, the first visit to the country by a sitting US president in 33 years.
He stated: “(What) also became clear was a new level of US interest and engagement with the Caribbean. While this new interaction ceremonially began with the US-Cuba paradigm shift, it’s been a long time coming: in large part due to the continued and rising influence of China in the region, something that the US was bound to take more seriously. And now is.
“In recent years, Jamaica has largely been a strategic oversight for most US presidential administrations. But this visit meant something different: this was the White House’s stamp on Jamaica, a sign to the country that a new relationship might bloom. Perhaps one day Jamaica might become the ‘Caribbean’ Oval Office. But that will depend on a number of things, from the completion of a long trek to fiscal solvency, a reduction in crime and a more inclusive economy.
“With the Chinese knocking on the door, transnational crime posing a constant threat, and the economic light at the end of the tunnel still unseen, Jamaica can use this visit as a starting point.”
The Caribbean leaders were all there in their glory.
We are no doubt swimming in a sea of potential prosperity.
Let us give thanks to the presence of God in our lives, make our contributions and experience God’s promise to fully satisfy our every need according to His riches.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)