Many parts of the world are learning to live with the negative effects of COVID-19.
The war in Ukraine, coming on the heels of the pandemic, however, has impacted international trade to a significant degree.
While substantial changes are underway, for developing economies these changes are likely to be positive.
There are clear signs that the world is in the process of strategic economic shift.
Let us briefly review some of these important signs.
On April 25, the Washington-based al-monitor reported that “latest data released at the end of March by Turkey’s energy market regulator EPDK confirms that for the four months from October through January, the United States supplied 17.4% of Turkey’s gas imports, well ahead of near neighbors and longtime suppliers Iran (11.9%) and Azerbaijan (12.9%) and second only to Russia (38%).”
The same publication quoting local sources reported on April 22 that international freight trucks are clogging Turkey’s border with Georgia to reach Russia.
On April 28 Wall Street Journal citing commodities data provider Kpler reported that Iran’s oil exports “rose to 870,000 barrels a day in the first three months of the year, up 30% from an average of 668,000 barrels a day in the full-year 2021.”
On far away Solomon Islands where China is in the process of establishing military presence, along with massive infrastructure investments, the US officials have become so paranoid that they implied war and rushed to Honiara to talk “business.”
As western firms pull out of Russia, Eurasian companies are beginning to hint at moving in there.
Even China is not safe from the economic reconfiguration taking place around the world right now.
China’s dogmatic approach in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic in Shanghai has impacted economies worldwide.
The aim to reactivate after a global shutdown made them realize that they have put too many eggs in China’s basket.
As the manufacturing hub of global economy, China is making many countries susceptible to its internal problems beyond their control.
Naturally, at some point developing economies will shift their reliance away from China.
As the idea of domestic production regains economic plausibility, many developing economies are likely to attempt to produce locally rather than import from abroad.
Most importantly, there is a global momentum on a macro and micro economic level that the way things functioned previously need to change.
There is a reconfiguration in the economic as well as logistical spheres.
The shift in thinking at the macroeconomic level hints at the reality that developing economies are starting to realize that as much as they need big economies, the latter need them too, sometimes with far greater urgency.
The US will not be able to continue its economic competition with Russia and China without West Asia, especially without some economic accommodation of Islamic Iran and Turkey.
Here is the new reality.
Russia will not be able to evade western sanctions without help from Central Asian countries.
China will not be able to continue its remarkable economic growth without Africa’s natural resources and investment in Africa’s many untapped markets.
Development of a promising local African airline industry alone is the continent’s sleeping economic giant.
Perhaps nothing symbolizes the increasing role of developing economies more than Venezuela’s ability to counter Washington’s economic war waged against it.
On April 7 Reuters reported that Credit Suisse projected the Venezuelan economy to grow by 20%.
As big powers continue their confrontation on the geopolitical and economic levels, developing economies will become centers of attention.
Considering that there are now multiple methods and sources of economic development, with prudent decisions, many developing countries can play big powers against one another, rather than being played by them as was the case during the era of colonialism.